I was reading an article my dad wrote for a website design company called Zero-One Design who he writes for alot. This article was about mobile recruitment websites, so you can look for jobs when you’re away from your computer. What interested me was a bit where he wrote about the quickening advance of technology.
Now let me get this right; only recently have you had computers in your homes? Is it true that they sent people to the moon with a computer the size of a house which was about as powerful as a child’s calculator? Now there are pc’s you can buy with a terrier bite of memory, oops I meant terrabyte. hehehe.
Right then, so the home computer comes along and its a bit basic, you have to load programs with a tape player going wwwweeeeeeeeeeaaaaaawwwwww. Then microsoft makes it easy to use with windows. The internet connects everyone in the world and all the knowledge of the world is available to everyone! hooray!!!! Well alot of it anyway, knowledge is power afterall so the powerful can only stay that way if they keep a bit of it all to themselves, I digress.
Then laptops come along and they’re taking up less space, you don’t need a desk as long as you have a lap (I won’t mention lapdogs, that would be corny). Laptops have got as powerful as pc’s so who needs a pc anymore? But wait! Laptops are still a bit cumbersome to haul around so they gave us netbooks which are nice and light. But you still need somewhere to set it down for browsing – ah the tablet! Tablets are there to get rid of headaches aren’t they, like not having to set something down to surf the web?
Mobile phones meant we could be in when we are out. At first they were big bricks and skins couldn’t fit them in their pockets, so the clever skins made them smaller….and smaller…….and smaller. Then just as they were about to disappear from sight, some clever skin said wait! How about using them to surf the net? But we can’t see the screens the world cried in anguish. Let’s make them BIGGER! Skins are so engrossed in their phones, they used to sit around a table as a family to eat their dinner, to talk about things. Then they just sat in front of their flat screen 47″ plasma tv and ate their dinners on their laps, lost in the maze of 100 channels. The vacant stare interupted just long enough to text and be texted.
One day, very soon, nobody will leave the house. Contact with the outside world will be conducted totally online. The only skins out and about will be those involved in helping people to stay indoors, deliveries, computer engineers etc. Social media means skins can have all the friends they need without ever having to bear the pain of actual physical relationships. They don’t need to leave their house at all: your groceries can be delivered, bills can be paid online, friends are always there when they need them: friends they’ve never actually met. Life is so much easier in a virtual world.
The very act of taking a walk, for the sole reason of breathing the air and feeling the sun warm them, will be viewed as unusual behaviour. It will mark them out as different; like skins you don’t know who pass you in the street and wish you good morning “must be nutters.”
I shiver when I hear the term “virtual pet”, for those whose busy lifestyle is too hectic for a real pet; cheaper because they don’t need to be fed, less hassle because they don’t have to clean up after them. If they don’t like their virtual pet, they can just delete it. Will we no longer be needed? Will we become surplus to requirements? When skins as a whole no longer have time for a pet, when we’re just too much trouble, then they will have lost the capacity to love.