Literature is news that stays news.

~ Ezra Pound ~

Tech Does Your Head In

October 9th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 18 secs

How do you feel about being surrounded by tech stuff?

I like tech stuff. Really, I do. But I also find it profoundly frustrating. Okay, I better explain…

Once, you could see things and do things in the real time in a physical way. Wanted to produce fancy fonts? Take a calligraphy class. Or else, get racy with some Letraset stick on letters. Need the phone? No problem. Wait for the dial tone and dial the number. Type up a letter? Sure. Just haul out the typewriter and check the ribbon. That was about as complicated as common tech got.

Today, younger people laugh about the primitive nature of bygone technology and wonder how anyone could possibly have managed. Today’s tech advances allow us to do so much more, it’s mind boggling. And yet, it can also do you head in when things fall screaming into a heap.

Take that paragon of modern hi-tech advances: the computer. Completely revolutionary for what it allows you to do. It lets you type, voice operate, learn, explore, collate, communicate, file, design, create, sift, and so much more. A personal computer really is a marvelous thing. But, like the girl with the curl who, when she was good she was very, very good. And, when she was bad she was… well you know the story. Tech wonder or not, computers are far from infallible. When they fail it’s an intellectual catastrophe.

“Sorry. Can’t help you. The computer is down today” (poor thing). “No, it won’t work. It has a virus or something.” Gigaflops and teraflops notwithstanding, these little beasts are as temperamental as an old Jaguar. They might look mighty impressive. But when their little tech heart experiences a buffer overrun (byting off more than they can chew through), or their spinning hard disk starts to disintegrate, all you work will be lost for ever.

Never mind the cloud, back ups, and rather flash drives, this type of tech is destined to fail, taking a huge amount of your efforts with it. Think how many otherwise sane human beings are turned into gibbering, quaking idiots, by this infuriatingly unreliable tech distress. The same stuff that’s such a boon causes no end of despair through failure, flaws, and ridiculously obscure requirements.

That’s why I can understand how computers and other hi-tech devices polarize people so easily. Once, the biggest shemozzle in the home was a cupboard full of Tupperware that fell out when the door was opened. Now, it obscure tech boxes, electrical junk, and a tangled mess of cables. Only it’s not just in the cupboard. It’s everywhere!

So what do we do? I’m not going to tell you to love your laptop, back up the universe, or feed your fetish braiding cables. Instead, I suggest we invest more time in real life (you know,  that low-tech realm); just to balance the intensity and irritation that hi-tech provides. Take time out to be with people in person. Talk, walk, and work without a device in sight. Experience the pleasure of moving and love how beautifully simple life can be. It won’t make all your hassles go away. But it’s still the best back up strategy I know.


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