The Many Ways In Which Technology Is Screwing Us

Every time you send a carefully-worded text, you’re screwing yourself. Every time you get upset about your funny tweet about french fries only getting two retweets, you’re screwing yourself. Every time you order food online or watch a movie OnDemand instead of going to a restaurant or a movie, you’re screwing yourself.

Let me explain. In many ways, the advances in technology have greatly improved our lives. An iPod where I can store all my music instead of lugging around a CD case? I’ll take it! Video chatting with my friends in Paris instead of incurring outrageous foreign charges on the phone? Yes please! But it also has a very real dark side. Here are the ways technology has fucked us.

1. You get duped into thinking people are cooler than they actually are

You know what’s the worst? When you find someone online who seems really cool. Their photos are cute, their messages are funny, and they give the impression that they live a very full fun-filled life. So then you decide to meet up. They like all the same bands as you, and you have the same taste in clothes, people, whatever. Why not, right? You should be a match made IRL heaven. Wrong. More often than not, they turn out to be socially-awkward nightmares. They can’t hold a conversation. They’re style over substance. It’s a total letdown. That’s because the Internet is a haven for social retards. People who aren’t good at engaging in simple banter can now take the time to construct the best version of themselves. They have the luxury to think before they type. If someone is really “good’ on the Internet, there’s a good chance that won’t translate to real life. “Good on the Internet but bad IRL” people should have their WiFi connections revoked because it’s not fair! They are advertising themselves as someone who could be your BFF when in reality, their best friend is their cat and they talk too much about their vegan diet. Defriend these people in protest!

2. The requirement to be a good texter

Text messaging is the rudest invention of all time because it makes me feel like an asshole eight times a day. I’m put in situations daily where I’ll receive a text I don’t feel like responding to because either a} I’m busy, diva!, b] I don’t like you or c} I just don’t want to talk to anyone. That last one is a real shocker. “Wait, you mean you want to disconnect for a moment? You don’t want to be in contact with people 24/7?” People can’t seem to wrap their heads around someone just wanting to go off the grid. If you don’t text someone back immediately, it’s viewed as the ultimate fuck you when it really just may be, “I’m eating a falafel right now in my apartment while listening to My Bloody Valentine, and I don’t want to fuck up the vibe.” Texting has also created all of these new rules for dating, which don’t seem to benefit anyone. It just makes people more judgmental and neurotic. “He’s not a good texter? Dealbreaker!” People freak out over the simplest wording of text messages. They get hysterical and ask, “What does he mean by “How’ve you been?” Is that considered being flirty or distant?!” Thanks texting for making us all go batshit insane.

3. The many ways your feelings can get hurt

Technology has made me cry. Has it done the same to you? Everything is great and wondrous until technology is not on your side, until it shows you a picture of your ex with their new significant other on Facebook, and then all hell breaks loose. Thanks to technology, there are so many new ways I can feel bad about myself! Whether it’s by having a Facebook friend request denied, having few followers on Twitter {only 30 people care about my thoughts?!}, not being popular enough on OkCupid, not getting a text back from a friend; technology has made it possible for me to feel like crap 24/7! Wandering through the web is almost like navigating your way through a place that’s littered with land mines. One wrong click and you might be drowning in a puddle of your own tears.

4. Intimacy feels so…intimate

When you turn off the Blackberries, the iPads, the TV, the computer, and you’re just with someone on a mountaintop or lying in bed, it can feel so different and maybe even uncomfortable. I think this is the scariest thing of all. Having intimacy feel unfamiliar is terrifying and reason enough to throw anything modern out the window.

5. Everyone has ADD

I am someone who has never struggled with ADD. I’m intensely focused and rarely get distracted. But because of technology, I can now barely sit through a movie. If I’m watching it at home, I inevitably get on my computer and spend the whole duration of it refreshing my Twitter page. How crazy is that? I would rather refresh something I see all day every day than see something completely new and amazing. Fuck me. No, fuck technology. TC mark

image – JonJon2k8

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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  • Padface

    Texting is the new Black Death.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    Kindles….

  • http://saylala.wordpress.com/ aylablahs

    Thank you for figuring out for me where my ADD came from, now I can tweet about that. LOL.

  • http://twitter.com/kyleangeletti Kyle Angeletti

    you have hit the nail on the head, sir.

    this – “That’s because the Internet is a haven for social retards.”

    • danhoopes

      it works the other way around too, i think. socially adept in real life, awkward and weirdly reserved on the internet.

      feeling overwhelmed with the thought that maybe my personality depends on the communication of subtle cues that text can't convey, resulting in a forever stunted online persona

      • cazador

        You've just described my life and constant internet paranoia. :/

      • doctor schmocter

        yes, yes, yes.

  • laine

    but then where will all of us- AHEM, I mean all those social retards go?

  • http://www.kathygambo.tumblr.com Kathleen Gambo

    It's just one absurdly viscous cycle of blackberry to facebook to twitter, tumblr, e-mail, statcounter, google-reader and blackberry all over again. I loathe the fact that I'm so connected but simultaneously unwilling to disconnect. #Fail.

  • Elena

    I absolutely LOATHE text messaging. They're landmines rife with opportunities for ruining relationships and misunderstandings.

  • rilez

    No, fuck the way we USE technology.

    • technologysucks

      ABUSE*

  • http://brianmcelmurry.blogspot.com/ Brian McElmurry

    word

  • EmiliaBedelia

    I don't know about number 1. I think you really realize how one-dimensional people are through the internet. Once I visit someone's twitter page, for instance, I'm usually left feeling dissatisfied. The internet really deromanticizes everything.

  • http://twitter.com/brownnnbear Jocelyn

    #1 = the realest shit ever.

  • http://twitter.com/Gerardity Gerardo Splannessa

    More than half the people who get to this page, probably won't read trhough the all article because it's too long for internet audience.
    Fuck them. No, fuck technology.

  • Summer

    Best thing you've written in a while, Ryan. Great!

  • http://disrespectfultone.blogspot.com/ Daniel Schealler

    “That’s because the Internet is a haven for social retards.”

    Speaking as a broken and twisted social retard and occasional misanthrope, I'd have to agree.

    Git yer filthy social websites off my damn internet, already!

    I got into computers to get *away* from people, and now you're all following me down the rabbit hole.

    No escape.

  • Lee

    You forgot it makes it way easier to stalk someone…and cyber bullying can lead to suicides and stuff…

  • faith

    “Texting has also created all of these new rules for dating, which don’t seem to benefit anyone.”

    Real talk. Dealing with it while reading this.

  • Marthabuca

    I think I want to start your fan club.

  • Luke

    None of these problems would exist in the first place if you weren't a pathetic sheep.

    • monster

      Baaa.

  • asdfghjkl;

    forwarding this to my parents

  • alice

    truff. however, my social retardedness probably stems from an unyielding need to be honest. Number 1 is the most true. We also assume everyone is happier than they actually are which subsequently makes us feel shittier about our lives. i mean, we all post status updates and delete it when no one comments/”likes” it.

    I refuse to get a twitter, because I'm not famous nor am I trying to be. However, I deactivated my FB long ago and the more time you spend away the more ridiculous it is. Like, you realize that you're not friends with 3/4 of your “friends.” Neither do you care about their crazy, wild nights out (and their pictures to prove it), their flimsy relationship banter, and many of them were just kids you tolerated in high school/the dreaded past. As life is for living, real life social interaction is for RL.

  • SSS

    you put my thoughts into words!

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