Saturday, May 25Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

That Deus Ex Machina Life

It’s a tragedy that I can’t recall a time without my phone in my hand, my laptop by my side and the answers to any question a simple googling away, and it’s a sense shared. While technology and knowledge has been the cause for human advancement through the ages, it seems now it’s a way to decelerate and hold us still.
As a 90s baby I still recall VCRs, 248mb CDs, AOL dial up is drilled into my subconscious, when it was rare to even have a Nokia phone because they were expensive. Yet now it seems that every broke student has the latest smartphone (not to mention the indignity of eight year olds carting around an iPhone like they actually use it) and if it’s not our phone, we’re watching videos on someone else’s, wondering if getting a tablet is even worth it, face planting ourselves in front of a computer to ‘work’.
Buses have Wi-Fi. Trains have Wi-Fi. Cafés and restaurants advertise their Wi-Fi on the window to draw people in. When friends come around to chat, they ask for the Wi-Fi password then hum noncommittally when chatting tries to take place – you try to tell them about something that happened the week before, but they’ve already seen it on your Facebook, its old news, update your life feed and try again. It seems that technology designed to help us live fast-paced life has made even the smallest things time-consuming. We’ve sold our souls to wireless connections and have lost connection to real life for a virtual one.
We’ve become servants by our own online presence to a god that we invented and it’s as if Asimov and Orwell are shaking their heads with a ‘I told you so’ as I type this up on a laptop with access to all the world while the world runs by my window.
Now that summer has arrived, the epitomised season of respite, I hope to be able to get away from it all and explore the world outside my techno-bubble, take a break and lounge on a beach, explore a city or town, catch up with life outside of academia, as we are all wont to do.
(If I end up tweeting or gramming about it, well then, it’s simply my fall from grace.)