Technology and gadgets are a lot like friends. We love to have them or it around, and they can be entertaining, but when you have had enough, they just don’t seem to know when to go away. Some gadgets are like the friend on your couch who said he would only stay for a week, and that was 6 months ago. While technology can make our lives easier and more fun, it can often be comparable to that one annoying friend we all have. You know, the one that makes you laugh a couple of times yet doesn’t seem to know when to shut up. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I love technology. Problem is that both of them seem to take it too far at times. To give you a better idea of what I am talking about here are 5 gadgets and applications that, just like your old buddy from college, seemed useful at first but are now just flat out annoying.
One simple question comes to mind when I think about ringtones. Why? Why would anyone want Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” to start playing during a job interview or have “I don’t know what you heard about me, but I’m a Mother F$#&*n P.I.M.P” begin blasting out during a first date? In a world where we know that first impressions can last a lifetime, why do so many people subject themselves to the ridicule that can follow a ringtone? And the worst part of it all is the people that call themselves, or let their phone ring off the hook so that the ringtone can get to the best part.
If you love a song so much, download it, put it on your MP3 player, and use those magical little things called headphones. And doesn’t it seem the most annoying ringtones are always the loudest? I have a hard enough time pulling myself out of bed to take the train to work. That is without having to be jarred awake from my mid-morning nap to the sound of Steven Tyler whining about love when someone’s phone rings. Forget “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”, ringtones alone make me want to miss everything.
2- Laptop Batteries
Do you remember when laptops first came out? Oh, the excitement we all felt. No more being chained to a desk, no more dealing with annoying plugs, and simply more fun time on the go. It was a wonderful thought at the time, but something that has never quite come to fruition. To be honest, I own three laptops. Each one set up in a different area of the house, plugged in and ready to go. In fact, they haven’t moved in months. They have become stapled to the desk the same way that my old desktop computer was. I am as chained to my desk as I ever was. The only difference now is that the keyboard is more annoying, the screen is smaller, and my computer is slower. Sure new laptops promise 8 hours of battery life, but for how long?
If you are in the market for a new laptop, get used to it. The 8 hours of battery life is fantastic but you better enjoy it while it lasts. With all the supped up technology we have these days, and thousands of companies and scientists working on new innovations, no one has come up with a laptop battery that actually works for an extended period of time. Oh, the freedom of a laptop was glorious for a few months. Now, two of my three laptops have become glorified paperweights. I may as well glue them to my desk. They aren’t going anywhere as it is, and then there is no risk of me knocking it on the floor and ruining the screen.
3-Cell Phone Cameras
I am trying not to sound too bitter or jaded here but I am a big fan of singular use technology. If I want a camera, I will buy a camera. Call me old fashioned but I like to use my cell phone for calling people, text messaging, and the occasional game of Sudoku. You may argue that the convenience of having a camera installed in your cell phone is worthwhile, but I just think it’s adding to the abundance of worthless pictures all over the internet.
What’s worse? I can’t pass out at a friendly gathering, sleep on the train to work. or even have a snooze at the office, without worrying about someone creepily zooming in with their camera phone. If you want to capture memories on film invest in a camera. In my opinion, cell phone cameras are grainy, tacky, and only really useful for stalkers or people trying desperately to win America’s Funniest Home Videos on a daily basis.
This is not an exaggeration. Every single time I open my internet explorer it seems that I have somehow downloaded a new toolbar. Whether it’s from trying to watch videos online, or installing some new program, it seems that everything comes with a toolbar. Maybe it is my own fault for not noticing the add-ons when I install new programs, but I refuse to take the blame. Zango, Yahoo, and every other toolbar in between drive me up the wall. It gets to the point where I can’t even find the search portion of internet explorer without trying to close down 9 different toolbars. And the worst part is that they don’t even listen. I try to close them, they refuse. I try to uninstall them and they won’t let me. They are the single smartest applications, yet the dumbest at the same time.
I don’t like to use the word “hate” very much. My dad always taught me that it was an inappropriate word and should only be used to describe things that are the bane of my existence. I don’t “hate” cell phone cameras and I don’t “hate” ringtones. However (sorry dad) I HATE annoying toolbars. Please someone help me start a petition or beg these companies to stop making them. If something doesn’t happen soon I am going to have to start watching television the old fashioned way, on my TV. Now where is the fun in that?
5- 3D and Virtual Reality Glasses
I know a lot of people love 3D glasses and movies at the Imax. To be honest, when I go see a 3D movie I don’t even put the glasses on. The strain on my eyes just isn’t worth it. Do movies really have to be put into 3D to make them more realistic? The Exorcist was scary enough for me as it is thank you very much. Let alone video games. When I was a kid, playing Resident Evil in the basement of my parent’s house was terrifying enough. (Ok, I admit. That happened last week) The last thing I need is to wrap some 3D glasses around my head so that I cannot see anything else that is going on.
I think some major companies are thinking that virtual reality glasses are going to be a great option for people who are bored on the train to work. However, do any of you really feel safe sitting on the subway or train without being able to see anything going on around you? If I am playing Resident Evil, and slaying zombies that pop out of every corner, when someone tries to sell me a flower on the train, I cannot be held responsible for what happens. Whether I turn around and smack the little girl selling flowers or end up screaming like a little school girl remains to be seen. Either way, it isn’t going to be pretty. I will stick to my Nintendo DS thanks.
Those are the top 5 gadgets or applications that I find more annoying than Alanis Morissette in her prime. (That is a lie too; I still bob my head to Jagged Little Pill now and then) This is by no means a complete listing as I am sure I will rant to you about a few more in the future. But you have definitely heard enough from me for now. What bothers you? Feel free to share any pieces of technology that really grind your gears. Trust me, it will feel a lot better to get it off your chest, and you can take solace in knowing that I understand exactly where you are coming from.