Monday, November 1, 2010

Technological Button Pushing

People don't email anymore.

It's becoming like the 2000's version of the Pony Express. Like Pigeon Carriers. Dated and stale and no longer the most up-to-date mode of message transportation.

Not so long ago, people would sit at their desks, idly waiting for that annoying fax-sounding screech of signing on to AOL (the only option at the time) and waiting for that happy little mailbox in the top left corner to fill with iconic letters, touting "You've Got Mail".

I mean it was enough to get Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan back together in true RomCom fashion.

Since the dawn of the internet, things have evolved. Dial-up became a dinosaur, being replaced evolutionarily by DSL lines, by cable and now by fiber optics (Go FIOS!). No more do you sit, hoping to hear that pinging noise letting you know you have a connection to the World Wide Web. No, it's instant; you click a button and POOF! You're online.

Cell phones that were once the size of bricks, and pretty much the weight of them, have slimmed down like a Weight Watchers campaign. New , faster service and the internet in your pocket. Text messages over taking the actual voice calls that were once so rampant you couldn't hear yourself think for all the outside conversations.

And it's made the world a lot more impersonal. No more cute little thank you cards in the mail or birthday cards. You get an Ecard. No more decorative party invitations in the mail to brighten your day amongst a plethora of bills. Now you get a nondescript notification that someone somewhere is hosting something, and you were clearly "special" enough for them to throw your email address in the list.

You don't get people when you call for help. You get "Press 1 for English" and "Press 6 for Technical Support". Leading you through various automated menu's until you press the right button, either getting the pre-recorded computerized answer you want, or you become too frustrated and hang up.

Even banking has lost its muster. People don't waltz in to the branches, rushing to beat the clock before the doors lock at 5pm. No more waiting in lines to see those smiling tellers and getting a lollipop for the kids in the car. It's automated. It's direct deposit.

People are slowly losing their personalities. Losing touch with each other and that tiny little piece of themselves that made it easier and necessary to have contact with other human being. All sensory acts with the public are now electronic transactions.

Text messages cause arguments with family and friends. Phrases left up to non-contextual interpretations of how they tend to read things at the time. All major events in a person's life now a Facebook status, not a "Mom I have GREAT news!" phone call.

Websites built to navigate through life, in all ways possible so you don't have to interact with another living, breathing being.

Where did we go so wrong? How did we lose touch with our humanity?

Hell, we don't even need to be home anymore to set our VCR’s; we can remotely DVR things from our cells phones.

It's all about technology, and it's starting to push my buttons.

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