Becky says things about … the madness of technology

What’s that you say, splendid Listener? Another iPhone? With even more advanced things that it can do?

What do you mean it can tell when I’m not looking at it? How can an inanimate object tell when I’m not looking at it? That’s ridiculous. I’ve just got used to the preposterous fact that some telephonic devices can use our fingerprints to unlock them. Listener, fingerprints can only be used to unlock things in spacey-future movies, like Men in Black and Star Trek. In spacey-future movies fingerprints can also be used to unlock slidy doors that go phhht in whitewashed, neon-lit corridors populated with men in shiny black suits and immaculately made-up women with severe haircuts carrying clipboards and talking about xeno hackers infiltrating their nuclear centrifuges.


Do you ever wonder, most delightful Listener, whether technology is just going mad? Do you ever get pangs of nostalgia over a time when the most exciting thing in the world was getting your holiday photos developed in a shop??? Or your dad letting you use the one computer in the house to play Chip’s Challenge for half an hour before bedtime? Or spending hours scrawling through the amazing selection of screensavers on Windows 95 and realising you can make your computer screen turn to BUBBLES!!!?????


Isn’t everything now just a bit too slick? A bit too easy? What about the excitement of not knowing whether your printer would actually print your document?? Of not knowing what mood it was going to be in?









Or what about having to work stuff out for ourselves?? Where is the fun in the following conversation:

Person 1: Have you ever wondered what the moon is made of? I mean, imagine if it was made out of frozen milk, or glass, or tiny space-fairy wings woven together with the delicate thread of interstellar spiders? Imagine if we discovered that everything we thought we knew about it was wrong, and it is actually  made of diamond and eventually a spaceship will chop up the moon and distribute bits of diamond to everyone on earth and we’ll all be rich?

Person 2: Hang on, let me Google it….. It’s made of a solid iron-rich inner core and a fluid outer core primarily made of liquid iron.


And what about the sheer beauty of the household scramble to record TV programmes? The stern circles in the Radio Times, the obnoxious post-its on every available surface to remind every person in the house to RECORD SILENT WITNESS TONIGHT? The frantic last-minute dash of fiddling around with the controls, swearing effusively at this ruddy video player, and the tenterhooked anticipation of whether it has actually recorded?? A successful recording meant domestic harmony and contentment; a failed recording meant slammed doors, ripped-up TV schedules, tantrums, and curses against the sheer crapness of technology and everything it stood for.


So then what did we have to do? Wait until it came out on video!!!! And how satisfying and brilliant was it when we could finally see that documentary on Ancient Nord armour inscriptions? 


And as for games – well. The silent, dulled concentration of children and adults alike as they stare into their flashy hand-held games consoles is quite spooky. They’re like something out of 1984. How many countless tales have I heard of parents who despair of their children’s ‘playdates’, during which all the kids do is sit in their bedroom side by side and silently tweet, bleep and fiddle on their gadgets? Do they talk to each other? Does anyone actually talk anymore?  I talked as a child, Listener. I talked plenty. Through a tin can on the end of a piece of string. Was there any better way to talk?


How much more fun was that than exploding tiny pink bricks on a small screen?


And it’s only going to get more mental. Magic Mirrors, anyone? Yes, it’s a thing. Your bathroom mirror doesn’t just need to be a useful surface in which to study that pesky spot on your chin, or do your make-up – it can show you the news or the weather forecast. You can answer your emails, do your online shopping, and check your bank statements, all whilst brushing your teeth. How much of a marvellous start to the day could that be?


I just think it’s all gone a bit mad and a bit creepy. Maybe I’m just bitter that, if it weren’t for all those videos of cats falling over or holidaymakers being chased by rhinos on YouTube, I would be the author of several books by now – or maybe it’s just because I’m a little bit worried that one day, in the not so distant future, the world will be a flashing, blinking place, with the only sounds the incessant bleeping of gadgets and automated voices saying ‘Fingerprint recognised.’

41 thoughts on “Becky says things about … the madness of technology

  1. Love this, especially the description of the moon part, and googling the answer. It’s so sad as I have a 8 year old who says “what if, what if what if” about everything about the universe and I just have no clue how to respond…so do look things up. Guilty of squashed imagination. I will do better next time!

    1. Yes, do MUCH BETTER next time! But I’m guilty of the same thing. Someone asked me who played a character in a film the other day – I KNEW I knew the answer, but I STILL double checked it on Google! WHHHYYY??
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Really like this.
    I don’t know if this is really happening, but I do think I’m thinking less for myself knowing there’s always the option to just google it.
    But it is my fault really. Or society’s. A mixture. Both.
    I am sad to see so many things lose their significance except in nostalgic memoirs.
    But at the same time I’m guilty of doing all those things like play games, watch videos on YouTube endlessly, even whilst knowing there’s a pile of books waiting to be read by me..
    It saddens me, it irritates me, it makes me feel idiotic and helpless. Even though it really.. shouldn’t and doesn’t have to.
    You can’t do away with a lot of this stuff, and going on the internet is almost a necessity. But definitely, I think doing less of it is better.
    And I really wish I could be better at doing that.
    I really do….

    1. I think we’re all thinking less for ourself – knowledge is at our fingertips, literally, 24 hours a day. Why would we sit there and work somethign out when we get simply press a few buttons! I’m guilty of as much as the next person – technology is like a love/hate thing.
      And we can’t do away with this stuff, because I wonder whether we have the ability to live without it anymore…
      Ohh, it’s a hard one. I suppose need to just use it while it’s there, but try, TRY and retain some brain function at the same time!
      Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  3. Becky, you must live inside my head! Where are we headed anyway with all this technology. What is the use of playing with a bunch of bricks on a video game? My kids are mad about these games and they do sit together and stare at the screen. What could be so fascinating about this?! Not to mention how time could be better spent. We don’t have to guess and wonder anymore, just Google it instead. I guess it’s progress!

    1. But progress which way? That is the question…
      I don’t live inside your head, but I have to say I wouldn’t mind it. If you ever get a bit lonely, just let me know and I’ll move in.
      (What a strange thing to offer a person. I must be over-tired…)

  4. Do you ever write things that aren’t hilariously true? 😀
    Technology is scary indeed. One day, my future grandchildren will be in awe hearing stories of a time when human beings *gasp* actually talked to each other *gasp* face to face, or a time when pen and paper *gasp* was actually used.

  5. I kind of hate technology. I’m fully aware that I’m using technology to write this comment. In fact, the only thing I like about technology is the ability to read your blog. Other than that, technology can eff itself.

    1. I am of the same opinion. Thank you, Technology, for allowing me to read other people’s hilarious and splendid blogs, such as the marvellous Speaker 7’s, but in all other respects, you can take a leap.

  6. It is a mad mad world, yes. And you didn’t even get to the food technologies. Edible foam, etc. Or all of the car eating we do, which isn’t technology so much as the way of the future, but still sad just the same. I guess the silver lining in this cloud (sorry, sorry–I can’t help but look for those things. A defect in my wiring, I’m afraid 😉 ) is that you write funny blog posts etc to crack us all up and get a smile. Liking the toothbrushing scene especially. Nicely put, Stick.

    1. EDIBLE FOAM!!!! Forgot about that. Why would anyone want to eat something that looks like it’s come from the back of the chef’s throat????
      Thanks for your comment as always, Liz 🙂 (Stick says thanks too)

  7. Aw to sit at the table and wonder. It is all we can do sometimes to not go rushing to google. To sit in the unknowing and try to remember an actor, a movie, the pythagorian theorum….

    I totally identify with the book writing vs. crazy cat video viewing. I feel that I spend way too much time reading on-line stuff instead of literature. Not that the blogs or newspapers I read are junk, but it seems that I have no head space or patience for real reading. And I call myself an English teacher? Geesh.

    1. READ!!!!! READ A BOOK NOW!!!!
      But I know what you mean. Everything’s so ultra fast these days, even the generations who were used to things moving slllloooowwwwllyyy are wanting to speed up!

  8. Genius. My personal favourite now is the total inability of anyone to add and subtract. I go to the corner shop, buy two things and feel like I am in a primary school maths book: Natalie buys a bag of crisps for 35 cents and a coke for 1 euro. She gives the shop keeper a two euro coin, how much change does she receive? The shopkeeper then works it out….WITH A CALCULATOR!!! and most of the time…..makes a mistake in doing so and has to start again! doooooomed, we are all dooooomed!

    1. I have to say, I feel the DOOOOOOOOOMED thing as well! Speaking as someone who was never able to add or subtract in the first place, with or without a calculator…
      Thank you for reading! 🙂

  9. Okay, I nearly choked laughing at the last picture. You should REALLY have a warning label on your blog.

    BTW – Pong. Greatest video game, ever. That is all.

    1. Glad I made you chuckle 🙂
      My version of Pong was called Breakout, on the Atari (the Atari!) and I played it for HOURS! It literally was the best video game ever. In fact, I think if I search hard enough, I could probably download it….

  10. We now live in a world where they have removed things from the Monopoly game so it will play faster… no kid has the attention span to play a decent 28 hour game of Monopoly anymore. What else were we going to do with a whole summer! The sad part is they kids still won’t play Monopoly unless they make it an online game with a mobile app.

      1. The rumor was that “Jail” was being removed, but apparently the demise of the jail space has been greatly exaggerated, by the Wall Street Journal no less! So no CRIMINAL OFFENSE has been committed, and there will still be time spent in JAIL.

  11. Wait…I can have a screensaver with BUBBLES??? I guess I really AM a Luddite.

    I hate kids today. For so many reasons. But I hate them in no small part because of all the technology they’ve been spoonfed. It makes them more annoying. And they’re smug. I remember telling one about fax machines the other day, and about how it took an hour and a half to print a half-page memo being faxed from across town, and it was on that weird shiny thermal paper that smelled weird and left a strange residue on your fingers. She just looked at me as if I were telling her about how I used to write with a quill. I hadn’t even gotten to that story yet. Little bitch.

    1. Urgh. Kids make me sick. And they’re smug now, but wait a few years when their power of speech and communication has dried up and their only means of communicating is through strange gestures with their fingers and bleeping sounds. We’ll be the ones elegantly discussing Shakespeare and the Third Reich.

      (The Third Reich comes up in your daily conversation, right? Shit….)

  12. I’m thinking that I should stop typing on my phone… that’s a computer… that I never use as a phone… that I also use as an alarm clock. I thought of that myself.

  13. Good blog, Becky. My wife got the iPhone you can have a conversation with, and I asked it, ‘Why am I such a muppet?’ The phone said, ‘Quite frankly, I’ve often wondered that myself.’ But, joking aside, one has to wonder how long it will be before these gadgets completely control us, like some dystopian hi-tech North Korea

  14. Becky… this raised a lot of uncomfortable questions.

    1. If he doesn’t have fingerprints, does that mean that Stickman will soon go extinct?
    2. Seeing Stickman getting so excited about windows 95’s bubbles made me wonder… just how old is Stickman? Was he Stickboy back then?

    So many questions… Socrates would be proud!

  15. Oh… one other thing. I’m not a fan of Apple, but I know for sure I’m not buying a phone that encourages the guy who steals it from me to whack off my finger so he can access it!

  16. You want to see creepy… watch a documentary/short film called Evidence by Godfrey Reggio. It’s a couple of minutes of the faces of children watching TV. The dull dead look in their eyes still haunts me to this day. (you can find it on youtube if you promise not to get distracted by cute cat videos!)

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