Saturday, November 28, 2009

Things that Make Me Cry ... and Not Just on the Inside ...

... but on the outside.  Like, tears running down my face. 

For real.

All of the following things are horrible, wretched inventions that have come about due to the "advancements" in technology. 

I know, some of you are probably furrowing your brows and thinking Ummm, Veronica, obviously you L-O-V-E technology, what with your addiction to Facebook and TV, the writing of the blog nonsense, and using of the cell phone and whatnot.  

Yes, whatever, I LOVE technology.  I do.  I could weep when I imagine my life without Google, and how much harder teaching would be if I didn't have CNN and Yahoo! homepages to show me interesting articles that relate to what I am talking about that day that I can print out and disitribute in about 30 seconds flat.  And life without Television?  I know there are some people who happily CHOOSE this lifestyle, but even if I become a bum living in a cardboard box, I will still sneak into stores to watch my stories.

So why am I writing a blog about the horror of technology?  Read on, my friends ...

Well, first of all, because THIS exists:

Yes, a "OMG" necklace so you don't have to type or say "OMG" to people, you can say it to them all the live-long day, and in Cubic Zirconium to boot!  The description is hard to read, but it says "OMG this pendant is sooooooo cute!  This acronym for the phrase 'Oh My God' got its start years ago on IM and has become a common term used in everyday conversation.  If OMG is one of the terms you use every day, then you have to get this cz pendant.  Wear this sterling silver cz chat pendant and people are sure to say 'OMG I have to get one too!'"

All I can say is ... O. M. G.

Next up on my list:  We all know that GPS has led to tracking devices of all sorts, and the first to shock and disgust me was the "Disney" tracking system for your children (the commercial shows parents smiling at a laptop that has a small Mickey head moving around on a map of their town.  Wow.), but now that it is such a cheap and common technology, ads like this began popping up on my Facebook page:

Of course, after I listed myself as "married," the ads changed to "Is your husband cheating?" 

Clever facebook bastards.

And, next up, technology has made life so much easier in the fact that one does not have to READ an entire silly book to get the plot.  Especially those ridiculous classics, like Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, or Pride and Prejudice.  Who would want to READ when they could get literature's "gr8 txts" edited for the mobile generation?

The service sends text messages to students who want a condensed version of great texts, like this gem: "FeudTween2hses--Montague&Capulet. RomeoM falls_<3w/_JulietC@mary Secretly Bt R kils J's Coz&isbanishd. J fakes Death. As Part of Plan2b-w/R Bt_leter Bt It Nvr Reachs Him. Evry1confuzd---bothLuvrs kil Emselves."
 Yep, that's the plot of Romeo and Juliet, and apparently that is all you need to get from that dusty tome.  And this service claims it is providing an "understanding" of literature's classics. 

And finally, the piece de resistance, the worst of the worst.  You may have already heard of this by now.  Especially if you are on the English faculty mailing list at work, because if you are, I already sent you the article and encouraged you to be disgusted by it.  For those of you who are not forced to receive e-mails from me at work, let me tell you about the New England prep school that GAVE AWAY ALL THE BOOKS IN THEIR LIBRARY.

Voluntarily.  On purpose.  Over 20,000 books.  Gone.

The headmaster of the school explains "When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books."  Clearly the same.

So, instead of ADDING digital readers and computers to the library (I'm sorry, it has been re-named the "learning center" since it doesn't have any books to make it fit the definition of a library.), they moved out the books and spent 500,000 smackers to move in technology -- and a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine.  I mean, it IS a PREP school, after all.

It boggles the mind.  I mean, this is an ADULT who made this decision.  Did he never get over that black-or-white, all-or-nothing stage in life?  The only options are not ALL books or NO books.

I would love comments on these abominations, but especially on the doing away with books.  What is it that you get from a book that you could never get from a computer screen?


  1. Books are friends that I read over and over...

  2. Okay, so I work in a library at a 5th/6th grade school. Beyond that, this is a horror that forces students to become dumber. Literally. Very few colleges accept more than one or two electronic resources on references of projects/papers written in these fine academic institutions. Also, did you know that I can look up a word ten times faster using a book form of a dictionary as opposed to booting up a computer and opening up a browser page that allows for me to search words and find definitions? And don't get me started on encyclopedias! Paper forms of books are safer for eyes and don't put as much strain on them, as does the computer light. Plus, I can take my library books with me wherever I choose, the store, the doctor's office, the DMV..wherever I may have a few minutes to kill while those I need are unavailable. Can you take a computer to all of these places? I thought not!

    Gracious, some people just don't get it!

    Thanks for enlightening the world:).
    Jenny Shumaker

  3. I just gasped loudly and almost cried.
    I don't even know where to begin explaining the value of books over electronic words.
    I have just spent 3 and a half years of my life working toward being a book and publication designer, so the idea of printed work being forced out of people's lives makes my heart hurt.

  4. Oh ! Even with all the latest technology and especially the internet that aids me in my everyday quest for information,I have to read books to satiate my thirst for reading.. A Book is so faithful that,it tags along you ,where ever you go!!! Enjoyed reading your post!

  5. This is the most awesome and horrible post I've ever read.

    I'm going to go lay in the tub and bang my head against the porcelain for a few hours.

    Oh, and apparently I should nix my book altogether since clearly I'm behind the times.

    Jebus Chroist on a Cracker.

  6. Maybe the pendant is an initials pendant for Olivia G Mahoney?

    And Facebook decided that I have something in my profile that warrants them sending me advertisements for gay cruises. Uhh... yeah. no.

  7. Jenn - yeah, why are you even bothering to write that "scroll" of yours? THat principal is such an idiot.

    JP - LOL! Gay cruises! Maybe Facebook knows that you would actually LOVE a gay cruise ... they're not just for gay people anymore!!

  8. After last night's 30 Rock, I kinda want an "EGOT" necklace...

  9. Oh yeah, EGOT is in a totally different category. Totally acceptable. Also, inspirational.

  10. Stupid computers. Besides, they are just gearing up to take over the world by exploiting all the information about people saved on Facebook and MySpace. It has begun, that principal just doomed us ALL!! Before you know it we will be begging our tryannical binary overlords for a few e-ploids to order food in pill form over the internet. Dont say I didnt warn you!

  11. I would love to see that article about the school that did away with the library! A town south of us completely got rid of all their official librarians and now they just have community volunteers running the library. That doesn't really make sense to me either!

  12. Here you go, Mrs. Vincent!

  13. I totally have a necklace that says WTF


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