Life in Fast Forward…

If you feel like life is all moving too quickly these days and you feel you’re drowning in a sea of change that keeps coming at you in rolling waves, as I do, you might be interested in this…

Years taken to reach 50 million users:

Radio – 38 years.

Television – 13 years.

Internet – 4 years.

iPod – 3 years.

Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months.

iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.

Facebook has over 350 million users. If it was a country, it would be the third largest in the world after China and India. (I think they’ve hit 500 million now).

The combined Twitter followers of Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears are more than the population of Hong Kong, Austria or Paraguay.

Now I’m quite a bright boy and I’m not afraid of technology, but I’m so sick of trying to keep up, I’ve lost interest. Just when you can work the varying gadgets on your VHS, they bring out DVD. Barely read the manual for your DVD, hey folks, blue ray is far better. Between DVD and blue ray, if you dallied with mini disc, that was a complete waste of time money and effort, not to mention all the discs and video cassettes that have followed all your vinyl records and music tapes into the bin.

Buy a big TV that weighs half a ton, they bring out flat screen. Spend a fortune on flat screen, a few months later you find it’s not HD ready. Buy a giant HD, flat screen, all singing and dancing TV with quadraphonic sound and any minute now, shit, the bloody thing won’t play 3D!

Then there’s Walkman, personal CD, MP3, iPod and probably several others I can’t be bothered to think hard enough to remember. From Atari and two little dots going plink plonk across a flickery screen, to Wii, Sega mega drive, X-box and virtual worlds so real you soon won’t have to ever live in reality or get out of your armchair again.

From Sinclair ZX with 1 kilobyte of memory, to Amstrad with 750K, to megabytes, to gigabytes and now on to terabytes. In the mid 90s I had a computer with one gig of memory, which ran everything including all the software and the operating system. Now I’ve got 3 gig of ram, 500 gig of memory and the same again in shadow memory (whatever the fuck that does) and yet my computer gives me ten times more headaches because they have complicated everything so much, both I and the computer have regular daily meltdowns and I spend almost as much time repairing, rebooting and restoring the damned thing as I do actually using it.

As for updates, dear me, either they start of their own volition (please do not switch off your computer) and after installing bugger your system up so you have to restore it to an earlier state, or an update you actually want and spent time searching for, obstinately refuses to install itself even though you try it three or four times. So you sit watching little circles spinning, reading the message “this may take a few minutes” (for half an hour) with your life slipping past to no purpose and just when you think you’ve finally cracked it – “internet explorer is not responding” and so another reboot begins.

My computer isn’t a particularly good or expensive one, but if I wanted to understand all the many applications, not to mention all the repair, retrieve, boost and upgrade bits and bobs, I’d have to do a three-year full-time degree and then study continuously thereafter to keep abreast of the ongoing changes.

Then there are about a dozen different messaging options, from e-mail to IM, from Skype to Twitter (which I still think is something birds do in trees) and MSM and Yahoo messenger and blogging and – oh dear – don’t even get me started on mobile phones that now do everything except the washing up, with aps for a million things you never even knew you needed or wanted and more of the damned things coming out by the day.

They’ve recently changed YouTube and after posting a good few videos of me singing (which I enjoyed doing), I now can’t get anything to record on there for love nor money and to look at my previous posts, I have to scroll through page after page and once I’ve viewed one, I have to go back and scroll through all the same pages again. Before they tampered with it, all my posts were on one page and instantly accessible, but oh no, that was too simple, so they had to complicate it to destruction.

They keep changing Facebook and every time they do there is glitch after glitch and now they are also forcing this timeline rubbish on us. Timeline really pisses me off. Go to someone’s page and look for a particular thing and you are lost in a sea of boxes and posts and if you’re anything like me, your patience snaps and you give up. Why can’t they just leave damned well alone instead of “improving” things until they don’t work at all. Infuriating twats. Arrrgghhh!

On and on it goes, endlessly eating our time and battering our senses. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion, just as many people are slaves to their cars instead of vice versa, technology has become a burden instead of a boon, a responsibility instead of a pleasure. So I for one intend muddling along with the bits I find useful or entertaining and as for all the rest – plus all the new things already in warehouses waiting to be marketed to us the moment we have wasted our money on the old out of date technology currently on the shelves – they can stick it right up their arse. Sideways and without lubrication. Not that I can afford any of the new stuff anyway.

I think my life will be better for telling them to shove their micro chips where the sun never shines, not worse. Our brains are overloading with this stuff and when you add in all the constant advertising being chucked at us, the never-ending noise and flickering images, the propaganda and lies, the petty laws we are in ever-present danger of breaking, it’s a wonder we can still function.

So piss on Wii, go for a walk. Say no to notebook, read an actual book. Four X to X-box, arrange a picnic. Sod Sega, have some mates round for beer, nibbles and laughter. Fuck Facebook, hug a tree. Ok, forget the tree hugging, but you see what I mean…

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About tonyjayg

I'm a great bloke. That's all you need to know. ;)
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5 Responses to Life in Fast Forward…

  1. Heather says:

    All these gadgets are selling an image and not what people need. I have a PAYG mobile phone and a computer that I would not be without, but which does have me tearing my hair out. I have no need for I-pods etc. It just annoys me that companies don’t update drivers, so I’m forced to buy a new product that I don’t need because of their greed. The cost to the environment is phenomenal and the hypocrisy of caring for the environment is just sickening.
    Remember some years ago when they said that technology would cut our working week down to 4 days? What a joke!

  2. tonyjayg says:

    Exactly right Heather. Talk of the paperless office was a joke as well. Now they have to print off hard copies of everything. When I worked for Hackney, there were about thirty filing cabinets in the building stuffed full and that was only one small department. My computer drives me nuts as well. Everytime they do an update it goes wrong and never shows any improvement for whatever they have tweaked. As for all the trojans, viruses, etc, I don’t believe they are put out my mishevious computer geeks, I think the companies create them so they can either sell you a fix tool or screw your computer completely so you have to buy a new one. When I had a one gig computer with windows 98, rarely had a problem with it. Now I’ve got one that should be vastly better than that and I have problems with it all of the time. Grrrrrrrrrrr

  3. Denny says:

    Oh no, don’t trust “updates”. I rarely okay them. These free programs that we use and don’t realize are not “free”. What program comes up when you play a video or play a song? Flashplayer. Do you have Adobe Acrobat? Can you read pdf files? All these programs we have downloaded periodically update. Have you seen any improvements after an update? Can you even tell it was done? They are attaching malware to track your net trail and selling the information to other companies. NOTHING is free on the net, there are strings attached only you cannot see them, they just slow you down. Download “spybot” and get rid of these attachments.

    On another note, this piece hit home with me all the way through. I often repeat to myself, “technology?” Is this really progress? As I age, I find myself migrating back to a life more simple. While years ago everything had to be smaller, phones computers. Now I want them bigger. Give me bigger buttons and no, I do not want all the horns and whistles. My life is confusing enough. Great piece Tony.

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