Where I take a headline from “The Onion” and write an objectively finer article
“Man Wishes He Knew Enough About Cars To Tell If Repair Costs One Blow Job” — The Onion, 22/03/22.
Like every other neurodivergent young adult of our generation, I have many uneducated opinions on technology. In my ideal world, I would own a baby pink flip-phone, text my friends with cute “(っ˘ω˘ς )” faces, and know nothing about social media (and/or Will Smith/Chris Rock). Sometimes technology seems like a double-edged sword. While I love the fact that I can drive an electric hybrid car, I can’t ignore the realities opposed to it, like the fact that public transport in Auckland still fails the individual, and that New Zealand lacks a way of disposing car batteries when it eventually arrives at its technological end. Similarly, social media lets me stay in contact with my best friends who live cities away, but I know my mental health would be so much better without it.
Recently, I’ve been dreaming about dropping off the face of the earth and living in a rural cottage with my own garden (or simply sitting in a bog Ophelia style). Without a doubt, I would die in a week. I would have to get up four hours before I normally do just to have toast for breakfast and sorry to my cottagecore dream, but God made me a “material gorl”.
The point is, technology has ruined my life. In primary school, I would laugh at my teachers for not knowing how to use smartboards, but now it seems like technological skills are a privilege. The rise of capitalistic competition means that there are multiple options for something as simple as a to-do list. But without time or money, consumers (a.k.a. us) can never really understand what we’re signing up for. How many times have you ignored the terms and conditions from seemingly harmless websites, only to receive a new onslaught of spam mail the next day? And while technology sometimes acts as a lifesaver (Zoom re: online university; or the ANZ app re: me buying Maccas on a night out), it seems like the thing that is meant to be connecting us to one another has an awful lot of individual responsibility.
I’m so used to growing up around technology that screen-sharing on Zoom and integrated digital calendars seem normal. But if I hadn’t hung out with RGB light-up keyboards and dual monitor boys, the learning curve is awfully steep. Even when I sign up for a new vet, they ask me to join a separate online portal or to transfer over my data. I love that I can do that but it also makes me stop and question that if I hadn’t known what I was doing, would my cat exist in some outdated limbo?
Academically, this man-made man race is so obvious. There are infinitely more academic sources and supplementary learning material online but only if you know how to look. Libraries are great, but there is an extra factor in travel time, and there’s no Ctrl+F when you’re looking for specific information. Not everyone’s computers have a working mic or a camera for Zoom, and not everyone can stream Panopto videos reliably. Not everyone has a computer. Plus it’s no secret that Apple phases out their operating systems so that you have to buy the latest models to keep up to date. Once you’re part of the technological cycle, you’re trapped in it forever.
Donkey’s conclusion: GPUs and CPUs, what about me n u?