I have, thus far, very much enjoyed the privacy of my own home. I am single, without roommates and the cat and I co-exist with – in a “you don’t pay/you don’t say” kinda way. This affords me the freedom to walk around in various states of un-shaven, un-coiffed, un-bathed, un-done un-glory with no-one to see it. Or rather, it did.
I remember watching The Jetsons thinking, “How cool is that? George calls Jane and she can see him. That’s gonna really happen in the future.” As a kid, I was very stupid – I also street-luged without a helmet. If I knew then what I know now I’d have been more careful about courting the danger of both head injury and technology. I can avoid street-luging, but I fear, in a 1984/Brave New World kind of way, video calling as with Skype and GoogleChat will completely replace telephones that have thus far allowed us to be on the toilet or naked or not at all where we say we are or all of these. I am so completely tech-tarded that I had to have an intern show me how to download a movie (and then I had to call him again to tell me where it had gone). I only recently got a computer with a built-in camera. And while I am sure I should be most afraid of the Big Brother is Watching aspect, I am more afraid of Big Brother watching me digging for emeralds!
As seen on Star Trek, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman and, of course, The Jetsons – all very reliable sources of future technology – the video simply turns itself on, not giving me the chance to cover up the ProActiv Solution “before” picture that is my morning face. George had to hide behind the sofa, and he was used to the video phone, for Pete’s sake!
I work from home, my business attire is Superman Underoos or a onesie (think newborn baby outfit fit for an adult) – really, not what one would wear while negotiating an international contract face-to-face. Jane, STOP THIS CRAZY THING! I cannot be seen like this! I am the girl who wakes up before her “overnight guests” to make sure they wake up to the same face they went to sleep with. I break out the curling iron to go to the grocery store. I put on my contacts to sign for FedEx packages. Home is the one place in this city where noone will look at me with that doesn’t-she-have-a-mirror? face that apparently comes standard with a woman’s metro pass.
Technological avances prove, time and again, Foxy’s Self-Serving Paraphrasing of Newton’s Third Law: for every great positive use there is an equally great negative use. Visual technology can be awesome- breast and colon cancer scans, Xbox360 Kinect, Kermit riding a bike in The Muppet Movie:
Unfortunately, it has also been used to propagate horrific sights, like military torture or the Liza Minelli-David Gest wedding kiss (click and grab yer barf bag @ 30 secs).
And while I love that I can see my mom more often, she can’t even figure out how to end a video call (in her defense, the red phone icon does require the skill of a person who is trained in both the colour red and what a phone looks like*). My luck she’ll forget to turn it off and wind up uploading some sort of weird video to my Facebook page where she’s knitting while dressed like Ke$ha.
* As well as being a genius, Foxy’s mom is trained to identify all three primary colours, as well as phone icons from the 1950s to today. It should also be mentioned that the Ke$ha scenario is very possible as she is a world-class knitter and they share a strange affinity for Jack Daniels.