You Better Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

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.

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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 There are “outdated” things that I prefer over their newer, tech-driven counterpoints, like:

Blockbuster

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.

MapQuest

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.

Love Me Tinderly Part 2: Why I’m Swiping Left & Leaving This Party

So after giving  in and actually testing the Tinder waters, I am officially swiping left and leaving this party.

Just to clarify and reiterate, I was never actually interested in participating in this judgmental dating app; my coworker Ershley installed Tinder on my phone one evening after work during cocktail hour. But ok, fine, I got curious and dipped my toe in the “shallow” end to see how things would pan out.

And what I found wasn’t pretty.

OBSERVATION #1:

Listen, I completely understand that since Tinder only allows you to post about 5 photos of yourself,  you want to put your best (aka most attractive/ badass) foot forward. But really, I’m dumbfounded that girls actually like:

*shirtless selfies: I get it.  You have a 6 pack. You still look like a douche. Stop pursing your lips. It’s not cute.

*photos of you surfing: I get it. You like the ocean. You like to ride waves. So do a lot of people in SoCal. What else makes you special?

*photos of you with a tiger: A SURPRISINGLY high amount of guys have apparently met a live tiger. I don’t understand this phenomenon.

*photos of you holding a baby: Is that your kid? Or a nephew? Or your kid sitting next to your nephew?  Or do you just pose with stunt babies at the mall to attract chicks?

*5 photos of you with your man-posse: Seriously, WHICH ONE ARE YOU, bro?!

*3 photos that don’t even remotely show anything about you: Shout-out to the guy who had one image of a cat, one of a tree, and one of a sky…put the bong down and upload at least one pic of yourself, stoner.

OBSERVATION #2:

Fact: there is an overwhelming amount of self-absorbed douche-nozzles on Tinder. To make things simple, I’ll break it down by the TYPE of douche:

*the unnecessarily rude dude: One of my profile pics was of my darling cats…some jackass took the time to write me a message that “the cat pic really killed it for me”…then why take the time to send me a message, @$$hole?

*the scumbag: A very smooth Casanova messaged me to ask “What are you doing on Tinder? Looking for Mr. right or Mr. Right now?” Come on, guy…

*the ego-manic: One dude’s tagline was “unless you’re a model, swipe left. Look at me.” Oh, I’m looking at you. And all I see is a hairless lonely meat-man-wich who’s insecure deep down.

OBSERVATION #3:

Having said all of this, I do give props to the guys who are actually funny. Self-deprecating humor is kind of endearing and shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Random silly thoughts that make no sense are good for a giggle, but these funny guys are few and far-between. For me, if you can make me laugh, you’re totally in. Some of my fave taglines:

“I love organic Tic Tacs.”

“Hi, I’m fun. I ride motorcycles. They are fun. Yay!!”

“My life is like Scrubs, except not as funny.”

“I think I belong in Canada.”

“I used to eat a lot of sandwiches, but I’ve really cut down lately. Honestly.”

“I’m not on this app.”

“I’m an aspiring oyster snob.”

“Yeah I’m Asian and I have blonde hair…I’m still good at math.”

“What’s in your lunch pail?”

“I was hiding under the house because I love you.”

“I’m like a real-life cartoon. Don’t drop an anvil on me though. I’ll die.”

And as a total side note: Plenty of Fish is not better. A certain girlfriend of mine (who shall remain nameless but her name rhymes with Smershley) knew I was writing this post, and shared with me a message that a dude sent her on POF:

“Hi, I’m Alex. Can we become friends with benefits and travel together to lots of exciting places? I will help you with your bills on a monthly basis as well.”

Apparently it’s rough waters for all those fish. Time to swipe left and swim away.