Mario Villalobos

First World Problems

For the past few days, I’ve been writing a lot about technology, from Apple Music to why I don’t like Windows to why I love Apple’s devices. I’ve written about how much technology has changed my life, ever since I was a little boy, but I haven’t really written about how technology has sometimes made my life worse. In fact, how technology has made modern life a little worse for wear.

Technology can blind us from some practical realities. Yesterday I watched this video on YouTube about kids reacting to the first ever iPod. I was in high school when the first iPod came out, and I thought it was the most magical device ever created. At this point in my life, I was super deep into Napster and downloading as much music as possible, but hating the fact that I had to burn them onto a CD to listen to them outside of my computer. So the iPod was an excellent solution to a very real problem. Cut to over a decade later, and we’re living in a society where people feel obligated to have access to all the music they would ever want to listen to. If there’s one little problem, people start bitching. I’m with Taylor Swift: artists should get paid for the work/art they produce, and people should in no way feel obligated to their work, especially through free streaming tiers that sites like Spotify and Pandora offer.

Technology has made us crying, obligated little bitches. God forbid we have to read a very tangible and very real map when our GPS isn’t working. Hell, we shouldn’t be pissed off when we’re out in the middle of nowhere and our phones don’t have any cellular service. These are the very definition of first world problems. There are kids today who have no idea how to write in cursive. They’re being taught how to type on a fucking touchscreen instead of being taught cursive. What kind of fucking shit is that? People are falling too quickly and too willingly into the shrine of technology. They think technology can cure all of society’s ills, and if only they’re always connected and always plugged into the grid that their lives will mean more to them than some lumberjack living alone in a cabin he built at the top of some fucking mountain.

A big part of this rant is directed at me. A big reason why I started moving away from third-party apps and toward Apple’s stock apps was because I didn’t want to care so much about the apps I used. I really don’t want to be so dependent on technology when deep down I know am. I don’t want to care about where I type my notes into since I love writing in my paper notebooks more, but I know that the best notepad is the one that’s right there, available to take whatever input you want it to. I spent so many hours of my life in front of various sized screens doing nothing close to finding the cure of cancer, but instead consuming consuming consuming and doing nothing that will move humanity forward. I can wax rhapsodic about how much I love my Mac, iPhone, and iPad, but at the end of the day, they’re technological devices, run by circuits and processors and designed by humans and built by machines in order for one company or another to make money. As humans, all we have is ourselves. By ourselves I mean our singular selves. I have myself, you have yourself, he has himself. We’re all alone in this.

I’m also kinda buzzed on some Pinot Noir and I have no idea if any of this makes sense.