Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Technophobia And Our Relationship With The Modern World

                          Several months ago I wrote an article on this blog about some human being's purely sentimental attachment to older technology versus newer developments. As with its detractors,my own opinions modern "digi-tech" is based almost entirely on individual observation. I personally try at least to make an effort not to let bias lead the way in my thoughts and feelings. Now I'm not saying to pump myself up to appear superior in heart and mind to anyone else. But only to illustrate a thought process that took much time and effort to develop. And that more people would be wise to...well at least try to try. What I am writing about today again comes from personal experience. And it is not about modern technology and our reluctance to it. But rather about the more extreme end of this spectrum:fear of technology,apparently known as technophobia. And there's a personal story to illustrate this too.

                   Nine years ago my family purchased a Sony CMT-NEZ3 mini home stereo system. As with most such devices of the time it could play both standard CD's and MP3 discs,and it had a built in digital radio turner. But the main selling point to them is that even in 2005 it was one of the few systems they could find with a cassette player/recorder. As is typical of Sony products up through today apparently,the CD is held down with a black spindle that within the last year or so has come loose. It takes sometimes ten attempts at taking the CD in and out of the player in order to get it to play. Otherwise,the device clicks and continues to say "no disc". Yet its not broken in any serious sense: merely looseness clearly observable in the black spindle mechanism. Recently however,this has started to create a problem for me personally.

                     When I do my acrylic canvas painting some nights,I listen to music. Its all part of personal stress objectification in this particular case. In the last couple of weeks or so,I have noticed how the complicated process of repeating the same operation to try to get the device to play the CD has gotten me to the point where this entire fiasco was creating the exact level of stress my painting/music situation is supposed to help prevent. Down to the point where on some occasions I decided it might be appropriate not to even paint the given night. Tried another solution in my moms old yellow Sony boombox from 2000. However it has the same exact spindle,and of course the results were the same. In the end the solution was simple: plug my portable CD player into a surge protector with portable speakers. Worked like a charm in lieu of a better system. Still it was an important revelation for me.

                        Why would someone such as myself whose learned so much in the past decade about re-arranging life to prevent tension loose my temper on a device that doesn't care how I feel about it? It bought to mind another possible reason towards people's fear of technology outside their sentimental attachment to only that which they've known. Could be that a lot of people's fear and frustration at modern technology comes both from their lack of ability to understand it, but their irritation at the over zealous attitudes of the technologies developers. I've come to a conclusion that a lot of the new and less then adequate technologies-such as digital television and some lower end laptop computers,are developed by eager beaver type technicians who are perhaps so fascinated with their own inventions they neglect practicality to the everyday people. I think if humanism joined forces more with futurism,technology's performance would seriously improve. And therefore so would fear of it.


1 comment:

  1. I can understand the frustration of technology. It advances so much in a 10 year period that it floods the market with new and outdated stuff. It doesn't give people a chance to catch their breath. And if you're not careful you can sink a lot of money into trying to keep up with it. I still have 2 VCR's and tapes to go with it. Why? Because it still works. I'm still using a computer with Windows XP on it. Why? Because it still works, LOL. I still have a cassett deck in my pick-up. Why? Because it still works.

    Yeah, I have a few new gadgets, an Iphone, a Laptop, an I Padd.., but I'm not going to be getting rid of those things until they're broke or otherwise rendered useless by an ever changing system. What drives me nuts about technology is the spoiled mentality that younger people have over it. They HAVE to have the latest windows version, they HAVE to have the latest IPhone, they HAVE to have the newest game system, otherwise they feel out of the loop. It's like a damn fetish with these people. And all of this is due to the technology market that keeps making newer versions of things people already have. It's like a drug.

    Now as all of this is going on, in order to keep people involved with buying more stuff, the stuff they make doesn't last long. I bought an SD card 4 months ago and it crapped out on me without any warning. I lost programs and pictures. No way to recover that. I spoke to someone in the know on these things and they just shrugged their shoulders and said the cards don't last long because of the demand people put on them. SO IT'S MY FAULT?!? I put too much of a demand on an SD card? Maybe they should have designed a better SD card, ever think of that? That's just one example, another is my first Laptop I bought at Best Buy, a TOSHIBA, lasted one month before the warranty ended. It had a 2 year warranty. I was lucky. The thing just shut down on me one night and the hard drive was wiped clean. No reason to this day why it happened. But they had to ship it to Texas where it got a brand new hard drive, a new CD drive, and a new modem. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO IT TO HAVE TO HAVE ALL THOSE REPAIRS? If I had to pay for that, I'd have been buying a brand new Laptop.

    I think you can catch my drift. There's a lot of crap on the market that's deliberately designed to fall apart after you buy it so you have to go back and buy more. And they count on the consumer being dumb enough not to figure things out on their own so they're constantly reliant on "experts" to take care of your problems. Experts, by the way that you have to pay money up front for. It's a damn racket and I think there needs to be more government oversight into this crap.