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willbrawn's avatar

Have people always complained about technology?

Asked by willbrawn (6606points) May 4th, 2009 from iPhone

Example: ever seen anyone complain about an email or a text message taking forever to send? I think to myself. Atleast we can do that. Our messages can travel at the speed of light across the world and when it takes two extra seconds it annoys people.

When the printing press was invented did people complain years later about it taking so long?

Any other examples work too

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12 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

Yeah, some guy, somewhere, at one point said “Geez, this fire sure is hot.”

also: wheels were blamed for the moral deprativity of youth.

Randy's avatar

I tend to think that Daft Punk wrote this song about how technology just needed to get an upgrade.

Dog's avatar

Funny how easily we are spoiled.
It used to take weeks to get a letter and now we freak if it takes 15 minutes.

Human nature- we always want what we do not yet have.

Tobotron's avatar

Generally Ild just say people will complain about anything even if it’s provided to us for free, still if we never complained about anything we probably wouldn’t have advanced cause we would still be pretty content living in our mud huts?! :S

galileogirl's avatar

People resist change. As johnpowell pointed out the Luddites used violence against factories because they were losing their jobs. Even in the 19th and 20th centuries unions included jobs in contracts that were outdated by technology.

As far as the printing press goes, there were people who complained that the availability of books would only lead to mischief by the masses. Ther are plenty of people today who resist new things. We bought my mom a computer so she didn’t have to play phone tag with the children and grandchildren. I won’t watch movies or TV on my computer because I need a bigger not a smaller screen. And I can’t see any purpose for Facebook or Twitter so I wouldn’t use them. I do complain about kids who text in school because they aren’t learning but not about the texting per se.

Nobody complains about technology if it has a use for them.

helloimcat's avatar

of course they complained! otherwise, we’d have no need for these new things; or they never would’ve become popular.

and there have always been people who were skeptical of the implications of technology. neil postman in amusing ourselves to death talks about how there were those who knew that the telegram was great that it connected people across countries and oceans, but also knew it would result in the transference of useless things. as communication technologies have advanced, consumers have become less interested in important things.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I think we see so much more complaining now because there is so much new technology that comes out so rapidly. Even in these short few years that we’ve had these things, we have grown accustom to the convenience and rapidity of them, so much so that anything that falls vaguely short is worthy of a complaint. This extends beyond technology as well; Americans have a strange, almost frightening need for everything to be to-go or express or fast, no waiting at all. It started with fast food, but now everything is like that. You get your news fast, you get your gas fast, you get your coffee fast, you don’t even have to read a whole book if you read the Cliff’s Notes. I think it’s more of a reflection of our society than anything.

Jeruba's avatar

Ants and lizards and sparrows deal with things as they are, but we don’t. We use our imaginations always to conceive of things as other than they are, whether for better or for worse. I think we have too much technology and believe it will be the ruin of us. Some people see it as our salvation.

It would have been the same when technology consisted of a rock wedged in the split end of a stick. One guy would envision a sharpened axe and the other would say a decent rock doesn’t need a handle. Looking at the actual and seeing the possible is in our nature and is probably the key to both our achievements and our discontent.

Glow's avatar

Technology in general has made people impatient. We get everything we want right at our finger tip,s not having to move our legs or use too much of our brains.

Television is a big example. Ever seen how people get when their TV’s stop working? oh yeah.

Gundark's avatar

With early printing presses, some people probably praised the fact that they could produce so many copies so much faster than having scribes copy them. What a money making opportunity!

And there were others that complained books had lost their soul, that touch of humanness that made them “art”. “Books used to be some rare and precious; now they’re just a stupid commodity. Plus the ink is smeared on page 12.”

dannyc's avatar

The bombardment is at a new level however, that is the biggest change. If you are not a multitasker virtually impossible. I think that a reflection will reveal that technology has always been a lightning rod of man’s curiousity with the new. Just watch a baby experiment with its universe. As we get older we are just children with different toys. Most of life is still about family, friends, love and pleasure. Mostly, technology is not what motivates, it is only the enzyme accelerating our base motivations and desires.

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