During a time when technology is king, and we’re always on the lookout for the cooler/ faster/ bigger/ better/ shinier gadget, it’s truly amazing to see tech spill into every aspect of our lives.
(I’m keeping my eyes peeled for an iHubby.)
Remember when we used to look up movie times in a newspaper? And to that end, remember newspapers? Remember listening to your Walkman when you went running? Remember what computers used to look like?
Then we enjoyed the advances in science/ machinery/ Hogwarts wizardry and got to order pizzas from our laptops and stalk our ex-boyfriends from the privacy of our cellphones. (Editor’s note: I totes don’t engage in either of those behaviors.)
I recently came across a Wired article about an apparatus that seems like a magical appliance from the faraway future. A self-touted “liquid library that combines the benefits of alcohol and apps,” this device acts as your digital mixologist.
How cool is that? You order a drink from your smartphone or tablet and your iBartender (not the official name) dispenses your cocktail of choice. Added bonus: “The system also sends the host or bar owner email reminders when they’re running low on a specific spirit, creating an Amazon-esque reorder mechanism to ensure that users drink responsibly, but efficiently.”
So obviously this is rather fantastic. But the more I thought about it, the more disheartened I became. I gotta admit – as much as I love technology, at a certain point, I feel like there’s an element of dehumanization. There are “outdated” things that I prefer over their newer, tech-driven counterpoints, like:
Go ahead, make fun of me and laugh. You done giggling yet? Sorry, but I truly enjoyed the experience of driving to my local Blockbuster and slowly meandering around the store. I adored picking up the DVD boxes, reading the synopsis, and studying the photos. I always grabbed popcorn and snacks on the way out and chatted with the hilarious, sarcastic employees who had an endless pit of knowledge about every movie ever made. Netflix is heartless.
Yes, I know that MapQuest kind of sucks. It doesn’t anticipate traffic jams. Or road closures. Or anything useful at all. Maybe I’m just attached to the process of printing out directions and stuffing them into my purse. Then finding them crumpled up under my seat 5 months later, as I reminisce about how friggin lost I got by listening to Mapquest. #ShutUp
A pen and paper
There’s something comforting about scribbling out notes/ ideas/ jokes onto a piece of paper that really resonates with me. It’s a feeling that can’t be duplicated by typing those same words onto a Word doc. For some reason, when I transfer ideas from my brain into a notebook, with a pen as the middleman, the concepts take shape and begin to make sense. Plus, I like to doodle hearts, flowers, and peace signs in the margins.
And now, with gizmos like Robo-Barkeep on the horizon (also not its official name), I’m still sticking to my guns. While these impressive technological innovations make life a little easier and a little more interesting, it also robs us of organic human interaction. Like, if I relied on Robo-Barkeep to sling my drinks at home, I wouldn’t venture out to awesome bars and befriend amazing people like Alex Goode.