There are two ways to interpret the following text: You could see it as a piece deploring the way the postmodern world of technology we now live in has robbed our young of what we see as their innocent youth. Or you could take it as a rant on how technology has made annoying young people even more annoying. I’ll leave that decision to you.
I am only 27 myself, but my previous job opened my eyes (and clenched my fist) to just how much young people, or at least the young people I encountered, depend on technology. My boss was away for long periods. In most jobs this is a blessing, but I was left with two young men, aged 18 and 20, who I think in some way were part human, part machine. Not that they were techno whizzes, geeks, or anything approaching that, it’s just that all they occupied their otherwise vacant heads with could be viewed on a screen.
Their conversation barely ever deviated from apps, Youtube, hard drives, laptops, bit torrents, ipods, Twitter, Facebook… and then there were the phones. Not a second seemed to pass in which a phone wasn’t the centre of attention, nay the universe, as one showed the other his latest Youtube video of someone being sucked off by an animal, or played his latest shit grime tune. It was like sitting with those annoying little scrotes we have all seen and heard on the back of many a bus, all day, every day. They now seem to be getting jobs and infiltrating the work place; they are now the norm rather than the exception, and it’s only a matter of time before they invade your life.
“Oh my dayz, Brav, have you seen the new Kano video?” [plays Kano Video]. Imagine working with this. There are only three of you in an office and you, unlike them, have work to do that involves some sort of creativity, and not merely reacting to prompts from the internet. I must have been the only employee in the country praying for the boss to come back.
I still play Pro Evolution Soccer on my X Box when I have nothing better to do with my time, I’m on Facebook and I have an ipod. When I was at school we did talk about consoles and the like, but the difference was when we left the house we did things like play actual football, or make fools of ourselves trying to pull girls.
There’s something to be said for trying to sound alluring to the pretty teenage girl sitting on your knee when you have a bladder full of cheap cider and all you can concentrate on is not getting an erection
Now apparently all you have to do is send a few Facebook messages, and so when you meet the object of your affection the talking is over, you woo her by flashing your latest phone and it’s down to action. There’s something to be said for trying to sound alluring (or thinking of anything to say at all) to the pretty teenage girl sitting on your knee when you have a bladder full of cheap cider, all you can concentrate on is not getting an erection and you’re coated in Lynx Africa. It’s an invaluable learning curve.
I’m not a shy person, and I did both tell them to shut up and/or take the piss out of them in the hope that they would maybe achieve the same amount of self-awareness as an average ape, and be embarrassed by their technological dependency. The problem is this now seems to be the accepted norm for people of this age. The latest technology is now high culture for them. When I have had to take the nauseating, bring-a-ling-dinging trip to the dreaded phone shop by absolute necessity, I’ve seen enough groups of open-mouthed kids gasping around the latest Apple Fuckwit 2000 to confirm this view.
Ah, the iphone, a device that means you can now stare at a screen for the whole of your life, and not just at work or at home. After a day in front of a computer I find it a relief to look at something other than a screen for a while. Maybe on the train home I’ll read something called a ‘newspaper’ (remember them?), or look out of a ‘window’. I can in fact survive the entire journey from the office to my house without the need to update my Facebook profile or lol at something on Twitter. I am obviously in a minority. I did actually get an iphone, to sell on ebay. Some people pay hundreds of pounds for these things, you know.
I have no shame in admitting I’m currently using my mum’s old phone. It’s perhaps two years old, but of course for my former colleagues this makes it about as dated as a Commodore 64, and definitely not as cool. It is not a status symbol but then I, unlike most young people these days, do not judge my status or those of others by which mobile phone they selected when their contract expired. The guys I worked with begged to differ of course, and I was ‘ripped’ for it with some hilarious gags about how it probably doesn’t even have WAP etc. etc., accompanied by raucous laughter and Ali G-style finger slapping. I still cry myself to sleep.
My 23-year-old sister and her friends are not this obsessed with phones and the internet, which suggests that perhaps this obsession and dependence on technology may have come with the advent of the iphone, or specifically the ability to access the internet effectively on the move. So with the pace of technological progression what does the future hold? Will kids meet by Google maps without the need to look up from their iphone and merely dock together to exchange downloaded information to a tinny R’n’B soundtrack?
We’re nearly there, people. The future may be bright for some, but I for one think there are even darker days to come for our technology obsessed young and all who are unfortunate to encounter them. Lock your window and doors. They are coming.
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