In the wake of the widely anticipated Steve Jobs movie, I inevitably began to assess my personal relationship with technology. Danny Boyle’s new biopic is sure to remind us of Steve Jobs’ incredible legacy above all else, indeed it is easy to forget how he changed the way we communicate. He redefined our everyday lives and although I can appreciate his genius, I fear, I will never truly understand it. Yes, I’m a technophobe.
The old English proverb states that “necessity is the mother of invention,” but my personal feelings towards technology are reflected more accurately in Oscar Wilde’s wise words, “We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.”
Now, I’m not saying I’m immune to the charms of the iPhone, but technology has become so immense and immersive it scares and irritates me. TV is 3D, ovens are touch-screen, phones talk, cars can park themselves, our loves lives are orchestrated over the internet and our personality is portrayed through a 150 word bio. This all seems a bit intense and yes, unnecessary. Although technology is supposed to make our lives more convenient, ironically sometimes I just don’t have the patience for it.
Michael Fassbender leads as the techno wiz in Steve Jobs despite his self proclaimed allergic relationship with technology off screen, a feeling all of us technophobes can readily get behind. So, if you’re like Michael and I, you’ll instantly relate to these daily struggles for those of us who can’t quite keep up.
1. People sneer at you when you use a pen and paper to write down your thoughts
Yes, what archaic tools. There is something about pen to paper contact that allows my mind to express itself more coherently in a way technology just doesn’t allow. My rule of thumb is if it was good enough for Shakespeare, it’s good enough for me. Clearly the 21st Century disagrees.
2. Self-service machines freak you out
When did interacting with people become such an inconvenience? If you thought the underpaid teenager behind the counter was hostile, wait until you encounter the self-service machine shouting at you about the unassigned weight of your baggage. However, I know that there are some systems and self-service kiosks out there that are not a problem to use whatsoever. Self-service kiosks and customer screens, like those designed by Revel Systems, are made specifically to increase the speed of service, not hinder it, and improve order accuracy and the overall experience had by the customer, distinguishing it from the aforementioned troublesome ones. They’re engaging to used and feel streamlined too; hopefully, more businesses will adopt systems like these so even technophobes can have a positive experience.
3. You lose friends over your inability to keep in touch
People often think you are inherently rude or intentionally ignoring them. Trying to keep up with your correspondence through over 5 different media outlets is exhausting. No longer can I just email my friends. We have Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, texting, Twitter, Instagram and don’t even get me started with Skype. I. Just. Can’t.
4. So-called smartphones just generally mock you
Your phone might be smart, but it requires you to be a genius to work out all the functions and possibilities that it holds. I feel like I’m in a relationship with someone who just doesn’t understand me when I try to have a conversation with Siri.
5. e-Books upset you to the very core
What could be more satisfying than turning every page of your book and then adding it to your sacred bookshelf at the end of the story? Nothing. But, e-Books want to deprive you of such sweet satisfaction. The outrage.
6. People think you’re “quirky” when they find out you have a CD collection
You mean tangible products that can never disappear in mid-air? Yes. Imagine the hilarious conversation that ensues when they find out you own a record player too.
7. You’re scared to buy anything new
When it comes to buying a new piece of technology – be it a PC, iPad, phone, camera or TV, the list of all the applications truly terrifies you. You have never heard of most of these things and don’t understand why you need them. Your most complex questions are, “What colours does it come in,” and “Does it have access to the internet?”
8. New social media? No thanks
Whenever you hear of a new and trendy social media platform, your initial response is not one of joy and curiosity but immediate fear and resentment. My incredible, amazing, super phone unfortunately doesn’t have enough memory left for me to download another app.
9. Text-speak is like it’s own dystopian horror
It takes you longer to decipher what people are trying to say, negating from time-saving initiatives of “text-speak” in the first place. TBH, WTF.
10. Automatic anything stresses you out
Automatic doors are unreliable and always leave a two second window of doubt and panic before they decide to open. Automatic toilet flushers and taps are similarly annoying. The sensors work on their own terms while you’re frantically waving your hand waiting for something to happen, reminiscing about the days of manual flush.
11. Your phone or other electronic device is never fully updated
Or it has never installed the latest software because frankly you promised yourself “never again” after the last traumatic experience. Waiting 10 hours for something to sync? I’m okay thanks.
12. You need to know everything to make it in this tech world
For all aspiring writers, it’s a solemn reality to face that ink, paper and an eager mind are no longer enough to make it in the world. Technology is the hub of all information and progress. Your ability to write coherently is rendered obsolete by your ‘experience’ or lack thereof with Photoshop and WordPress.
13. Technological jargon is the bane of your life
RAM, resolution, 4K, Intel Core, hard drive and memory… is this supposed to impress me? You needn’t worry, you had me sold at, “it turns on.”
14. You just can’t keep up with all the new trends
You’re always the last one to know about this new app or social media craze and by the time you’ve signed up and worked out how to use it, most people have moved on. Keeping up is pretty draining.
15. You’re just gonna have to live with it… and carry your charger with you everywhere
Lastly, deep down inside you know that the impact and importance of advanced technology is not going to dissipate or slow down anytime soon. We cannot boycott technology in this age, and this is something all technophobes will have to live with, learn to embrace and just crack on with (while muttering curses and unrighteous rants under our breath, of course).
To sum up, while technology does allow amazingly quick access to the world around me, it is also advancing at a much faster rate than my brain can comprehend. For a young twenty-something, having an aversion towards technology is hugely inconvenient because it’s central to success in the 21st Century… an upsetting reality for all us technophobes for sure.
The Steve Jobs movie is out now, so let’s hope it’s a little easier to follow than all the applications and updates in the world. But hey if not, at least we can stare at Michael Fassbender’s fine face for two hours. Silver linings.