Today’s date is September 7, 2023. We are nearly a quarter of the way through the 21st Century. This was the century designed to propel humanity forward through the use of technology. As of September 7, 2023, we seem to be going backwards.
The promise of technology was to help humanity do the simple things faster. The introduction of robotics into assembly lines, for instance, was revolutionary in the creation of things like automobiles. Cell phones brought communications to the globe and, quite literally, made the world smaller. But those technologies all happened at the tail end of the 20th Century.
Technology has always advanced around the idea of the next “big thing.” At one point, you needed the big app to disrupt the world. Things like Pokemon Go helped humanity get off their asses and walk around for a while. Streaming media onto computers is changing the way entertainment is made.
But has it helped at all? I can’t even get my cell phone to stop autocorrecting “get” to “grt.” I’ve gone into the settings of my phone. I’ve gone into the settings of the keyboard app. I’ve searched Reddit and Facebook and Google. And yet, every time my thumbs splay out “g e t” it immediately corrects it to “grt.” If I simply type in “grt” – it keeps it “grt.”
This made me pause and actually look around and ask the question: Is this crap really making our lives better? Kids and adults are quite literally suffering addiction-related symptoms due to their reliance on social media. Corporations began using things like self-checkout counters which were designed to reduce lines and keep their employees happy. So what did they do? They just laid off the employees. Even things like robotics are limited by their programmers.
Another backslide with technology have been home assistants like Alexa and Google. Over the past six months, my Google Assistant has actually gotten dumber. It doesn’t recognize commands that it did this time last year. Additionally, other than set a cake timer, it’s not anything that ever evolved into something I want to use.
The folks who can really fix this? Well, as I’ve mentioned too often in this space over the past year. Those fellas are too busy building penis-shaped spaceships and planning boxing matches against each other.
Elon and Zuck and all the rest really used to walk-the-walk when it came to advancing humanity. The idea behind electric cars and conversion off of our dependence on fossil fuels is where this globe needs to go. But where are we, really? Tesla makes most of their money not from the sale of their cars, but by incentives paid by the government. Facebook basically tried to overthrow our government a few years ago and even Zuckerberg’s idea of a “metaverse” where we would all live has gone kaput.
In the meantime, I’ll still be sitting here waiting for technology to make my life easier other than being able to send dozens of emails a day only to get a hundred back in return. I’ll wait as climate change and fierce storms continue to batter cities around the globe. I’ll wait for someone not named Elon or Zuck to put something good into the world around technology. But most of all, I’ll wait for someone to grt my keyboard to grt the word grt changed to grt.
(Catch more from Chris Kamler on X–that’s the app formerly known as Twitter–where he is known as @TheFakeNed)