When Technology crosses the line

Those of you that know me understand my quest for the latest and greatest gadgets.  New technology always excites me.  I always have to be the first to have the coolest new product or gizmo. But, even I have seen technology go too far.  I would like to point out several devices that, in my opinion, have little or no use or have just gone too far

First on my list is the automatic car wash, commonly referred to as an E-wash.  Last weekend I pulled into a new E-wash and was greeted by a machine.

This is how the conversation went:

E-wash: “Good afternoon. How can I help you today?”

Me:   “I would like my car washed.”

E-wash:  “Yes we can provide a Hot Wax”.

Me:  “I want a simple car wash.”

E-wash:  “Yes we can add an underbody wash.

Me:   “I just want a f____n’ car wash.

E-wash:  Thank you and have a nice day that will be $37.00

I agree, technology has improved our life in many fields including  medicine, finance and science but I don’t think I want my car wash to be included on that list.  I enjoy being greeted by a person. I enjoy getting out of the car and watching it go through the tunnel and I have great respect for the half dozen folks who are there drying and wiping the car down after the car comes through the system.   To me, a car wash is an American Icon, right up there with baseball, hotdogs and apple pie.    Trying to reason with a machine to wash my car was not an enjoyable experience that I will go through again.  I would rather wash the car myself.

Next on my list are public restrooms.   I believe somewhere in the Constitution or in the Declaration of Independence there has to be a line that states, as Americans we have the right to flush a toilet wash  and dry our hands when we want.  I can’t imagine our forefathers envisioned that toilets would flush themselves and sinks would provide only seconds of water and paper towels were distributed in matchbox size pieces.  There is nothing more annoying than having a toilet flush when you’re not ready for it to flush, I’m perfectly capable of turning the lever when I’m done, I can only imagine what the guy in the next stall is thinking when my toilet flushes ten times consecutively.   When it comes to washing my hands, is it really necessary to have the water delivered in 5 second intervals?  It’s not that complicated to turn a faucet on and off.  As for paper towels, you can take those sensors and put those through the car E-wash, they are the biggest waste of time I have ever seen!

Another biggy on my list is Cable TV.   My cable bill is like having a second mortgage. The rent on my first apartment in 1980 was less than my cable bill.  I have over 400 channels and every possible option, including DVR, On Demand, and all the premium channels.  The other night I sat down to watch TV and there was nothing on. Go Figure!  I grew up with a zenith TV with six channels (2, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 11) and a dial. And there was always something amazing to watch.   Can someone tell me how we went from Gilligan’s Island to Survivor? Ginger and Maryann, where have you gone?   Reality TV was as simple as “Family Feud.”

Last but not least on my technical wonders list is airport security.  Each time I fly somewhere I’m amazed at all the new devices and gadgets that make us feel dehumanized and detest flying that much more. What makes it even more ridiculous is no matter what new gadget is added, such as x ray machines or scanners; items still get through that can potentially ruin your day.  Here’s a novel idea, how about no carry on at all.  Period. That’s it. No questions asked.  Don’t like it; don’t fly.  Consider all the money that would be saved on security, and  then maybe the airlines can give us back free movies and food to enjoy (I’d be happy with a bag of pretzels). Hey, maybe you can even have a conversation with the person next to you.

I’m all for technology when it makes our lives more enjoyable and productive, but there comes a point where it can become just over the top. Reading this article online with your electronic reader, now how cool is that?

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Published in: on May 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. So the gadget guy is fighting back? I think you must be over exhausted from you May chair marathon…..But I agree with most of what you say. You ever try to open a can with no electricity? Lights go out, a hot bowl of soup sounds good, we don’t own a manual can opener (or can’t find it….) Remember the little hey to wind open a can of sardines? Yeah, those were the good old days….


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