The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Protect us from the machines

By Mark Bauer/editor-in-chief

“Turn left.”

The voice commanding me where to go was cold and heartless.

“Are you sure you know where you are going?” I asked.

No response. Just silence.

Suddenly, the dead air was broken by another cold command. This time, the voice was a bit vaguer in its instruction. “Turn slight right.”

What the heck does that even mean? I either turn a hard right or I don’t.

At this point, the voice became enraged at my inability to follow its instruction.

I even sensed a bit of sass in its advisement to pull a u-turn and try the “slight right turn” again.

Incapable of arriving at my destination on my own, I was a hostage to its sassiness.

Alas, this is where technology has taken us. We can’t even drive to strange and unknown lands without a navigation system at our side to guide us along our every turn.

In the days of my grandpa’s prime, that sassy voice directing his every move would have been my grandmother.

Part of the problem with technology is that it has fueled our bent toward apathy. Technology is shallow and does not provide an immediate answer to the question of “how?”

Machines are ingrained in the lives of this generation so much that, should technology suffer a sort of electronic cardiac arrest, we wouldn’t even be able to make popcorn on our own—something our moms were probably doing at age zero.

Technology washes my dishes, crunches the numbers in my remedial math course, washes my underwear and even allows me to check myself out at the grocery store. Thus, I can avoid human contact in the form of a courtesy clerk.

Who wants to talk to a real person after dealing with soulless pieces of hardware all day long?

Still, at least when I was done scanning and paying for all of my items, the machine said, “thank you” and “have a nice day.”

That’s something the lone employee at the podium overlooking all of the self-checkouts failed to tell me as I carried my own bags out to my car.

OK, so maybe technology isn’t so shallow after all.

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