We all grew up reading literature and viewing films loaded with allegorical science fiction, warning us all of technology getting the better of us. The essential sci-fi literature of the 20th century was published before most of us were born but it laid the groundwork for the world we are accustomed to, giving us essential concepts/ideas such as "Big Brother"/omnipresent surveillance(1984), scuba diving(20,000 Leagues Under The Sea), and artificial wombs(Brave New World), just to name a few. Eventually, Hollywood caught up and took the lead with Star Trek, The Terminator and The Matrix. Computers in these films were gruesome, world-dominating behemoths while phones were always hand-held communicators. As long as this was our reality, cell phones seemed like fun little walkie-talkies and computers were boogey-men.
In the 21st century, cell phones and computers have become one and global interconnectivity is no longer ominous. Life without a hand-held computer is now nearly impossible to conceive of. In fact, most of us seem unable to live life just once. We are compelled to report on every waking minute of it. Since we are able to do it anywhere at anytime, the experience of life is being recorded and represented creating an effect not unlike the visual effect of a picture of a person holding that picture.
Skynet is no longer a tyrant but a cute little accessory that people line up for at 5AM. It would seem that the very concepts that shook our culture are now the ultimate source of amusement. What about serious uses for us serious folk? What about blog writers who need a softer transition from their laptops? Cue the Macbooks and IPads. As for this particular blog writer, I have yet to progress from my "archaic" desktop with its "primitive" wireless internet connection. Honestly, a laptop with MSWord on it would be just fine for me but didn't they have those when I was a kid? Weren't they called Word Processors? What if I need to use the internet to research or verify something for any one of my writing projects? It seems that in this present reality, Skynet doesn't need to send any Terminators to squash dissenters. The Matrix doesn't need to enslave us in goo-filled pods to get what it needs from us nor does it need to jack us into some elaborate program to make us complacent. No, the big baddies of yesterday merely needed to appeal to our fashion sense. Our individuality was never threatened. It is encouraged through the purchase of mini-miracle gadgets.