Monday, January 20, 2014
Why Alerts Are Bad
Never before have the protruditory nipples of gibbons been easier to track down, rotate through 360̊, and present to the world in a variety of hitherto undreamt of FORMATS (at almost the speed of light) than NOW.
If gibbon nipples are your bag (albeit bags with functional holes) then well done you for not having been born in the 18th century, for in those dark and dismal times only the embarrassing spectacle of Beethoven’s mismatched shirts and hearing horns existed to save you from Excitement-free Oblivion.
The web is awash with nipplitude of a gibbohuloid nature, and with apps available for Apple, Android and Cybergimp, there’s no excuse for anyone with even a modest interest in simian lacto-twibblers to fail to be engaged in an orgy of searching 24/7.
Only problem is, our relationship with the world is a two-way affair — and no matter how big your ego, the world always wins out in the VERY MUCH BIGGER THAN YOU stakes.
So, you’re phoning a friend and — ping! — the irritating alert architecture built into your phone flags up two new gibbon nipple photographs from a website in Taiwan. You try to clear the alert, but accidentally click on your Handbag of Junk icon and bring up another zillion photos from the cloud (along with a LOLGIBZ video of some Canadian park ranger filming himself filming a friend filming a prone, shaved monkey). On your computer screen: gibbons. On your wristwatch: more nipples than you need. All day, every day, you’re bombarded by nipples! More alerts for nipples! Come, look at these nipples! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! 24/7! And you can’t. Switch. Off.
This is what’s bugging me right now about the internet. I’m forever being alerted, reminded, cajoled, prodded and poked every time I pick up my phone. And most of these ALERTS are trivia. True, most can be switched off or instantly deleted, but there’s no escaping the invisible background hum of NIPPLE rumbling away under the hood. The sinister thing is that even if I never respond to a single pappomatic alert for the rest of my life, a cabal of strangers across the globe, united in the common cause of security, can tap into the unseen bunker of my nipplehood and obtain detailed information about all of the things I’ve chosen to ignore.
Right now, we have an invisible servant whose wonders we’re falling over ourselves to access. Must be like the thrill we had when money was invented. But look what happened to that. One minute, our great new idea made everything easy; next minute, we forgot that it was all about people and we suddenly found ourselves enslaved by our own means of exchange.
Are we alerting ourselves into a future where there is no escape from being alerted? A future in which we check, check, check, check, check our status, friends, messages, bleeps, pokes, booms, tags, wags, nipples, fripples, twipples and flibblers? Maybe at the expense of breathing?
Access to information definitely = GOOD, but I’m not sure I want the world this ON and IN YER FACE all the time. It’s like having liquid pheromones squirted into your nostrils with a water cannon.