All Restaurants Are Taco Bell (language)

Ok, so I was so tired tonight –  hard day at work. To relax, I grabbed my Ipad, pressed the icon for Netflix and started watching the first fun, sci-fi movie that I saw: Demolition Man (1993).  The movie had not gone very far when I realized the number of references to elements that are in our Turkle readings.

When I think of the “reduction in meaning” that is referenced by Turkle, I think of a lack of intimacy and even a dehumanizing factor that occurs when using technology.  This movie was absolutely packed full of references to just this.  Here are a few:

  • The dispatcher answers a call and says something like: “911 – if you would like to speak to a recording, press 1 now”.  DAMN!
  • People die and the squad room is shocked, sort of. Moments later when a conveyance is located through technology, everyone is elated and cheers. The deaths are all but forgotten.
  • The Compu-Chat program takes on a human personality and is deferred to as such. Even to go so far as to have an upset individual go to the computer for guidance.
  • The human police officers utilize a computer to walk them, step-by-step, through a narrative in order to act human.
  • The only person (Simon Phoenix), who can master technology can control it. All others are helpless.

Here we have a movie going on 20 years old that is addressing issues that concern us today.  Of course, I am not saying that all restaurants will one day be Taco Bell, but I am saying that to a degree, we are all concerned with technology dehumanizing us.

About Robyn Gotch

After many years of quilting, sewing and long-arm quilting for myself, I felt it was time to offer these same services to the public. You will find that because I am a quilter myself, your projects will be treated with the same care and respect that I do my own.

Posted on October 12, 2011, in Metablogging, Society. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Demolition man was the first rated R movie I ever watched. My dad and I watched it on vacation when I was 14. Needless to say, my mom wasn’t around. ha!

    Anyway, I think you brought up some good points. Technology is bringing us further apart in some ways. In fact, my best friend just wrote me a long email about how I don’t answer my phone and how that hurts her feelings. For me, I just assumed texting and email were enough and I have sort of become alienated from wanting to talk on the phone, thinking that other forms of communication would get the job done. I think people’s integration into technology is an interesting discussion in itself because I don’t like being glued to my phone 24/7 and I’d rather “live in the moment” whereas she is glued to her phone. It’s almost like we need to find a balance.

    I’m all for technology as it creates new ways for us to connect, however, I also understand how we can become disconnected from the real world. It’s a fine line.

    • I tend to agree with you that sometimes “living in the moment” is so refreshing. On the other hand, I love to spend time in the barn with my horses and I have recently been issued a request. My husband is worried that something may happen down there and he wouldn’t know, so he insists I take my phone with.

      But this sparked another thought in my mind. “Wasn’t this originally one of the big reason we carried cell phones in the first place? – to be connected just in case there was an emergency?”

  2. I, too, am a phone-o-phobe. I got burned out on them during the time where I worked as a phone sales associate at a travel company from 8 – 4:30 and then at a telephone call bank selling expensive dolls from 5 – midnight. At the phone bank, we didn’t even have the choice of answering…when it beeped the person was there. That cured me of ever wanting to talk on a phone again in my life.

    And now, part of my current job is to answer the phone. Since I have to be “on” and “available” all the time at work, I’m pretty cranky about the phone in my downtime.

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