Thursday, 22 March 2012

Big Bad Wolf

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf, big bad wolf, big bad wolf, big bad wolf? Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? Tra la la la la.' Answer: I am. For some reason, this rhyme always enters my head when I think of modern technology. I admit to a certain extent I'm techno-phobic. Anything that claims to make our lives easier gives me the shivers. Goosebumps appear when voice activated and touch screen devices are near. A future where human usefulness could be obsolete is just creepy. Unlike the fairy tale, this intelligent little pig knows her flat won't always protect her.

When this subject is raised, the statement that's made is: “Look what modern technology has done for us!” “What has it done?” I ask. These are some of the responses I get: Women have been freed from back-breaking domestic chores. Family and leisure time has increased. Appliances help us lead a much more convenient life. All these might be true, but does this mean we're better off? I'm not entirely convinced. What's wrong with a bit of manual labour? Some human input coupled with technology. Aided by appliances, but still in control. My all-time top chore list looks a little something like this: 1) Cooking, 2) Dish washing, 3) Hoovering, 4) Dusting and polishing etc. My heart leaps at the sight of a sink filled with dirty plates, a squirt of detergent and hot water. My hands delving into the frothy white bubbles; meditative dish washing commences. All of the above allows you to be present, to be in the moment; mind not racing ahead to what's next?

Technology is poised to take over the home and remove these irksome tasks. Robots will hoover, fridges will monitor perishable goods, you can have the perfect bath run for you and, a mirror to display your health stats. Furniture and appliances will interact and talk to you. Everything will be program controlled. Activated by voice or dainty finger taps and powered by electricity. Old homes huffed and puffed down and completely redesigned with cutting edge technology. The future we wanted is about to be gifted to us: we'll be free to sit on our butts, surf the worldwide web and twitter. Choose to inhabit an illusive world. Plant virtual trees, have virtual pets and talk to thousands of friends we've never met. Like the Big Bad Wolf, this sounds dangerous doesn't it?