Machines Behaving Badly

Everyne, it seems, has a mbile these days, even children in kindergarten. Billins f text messages fly rund the wrld every day, and cmputers and call centres run every aspect f ur lives. But is all this really making life better? Here are seven gd reasns t hate mdern technlgy.

It desn't save yu time.

Many peple make the mistake f thinking that technlgy is there t save yu time. Wrng. It is there t give peple new ways f filling their time. Take persnal cmputers. Learning hw t use all the features f a new PC uses up all the time that having a cmputer saves. And what abut all the hurs yu spend staring at instructin manuals fr yur new phne / TV / digital drbell?

f curse it's wnderful t have a CD player, a mbile, a hme cmputer, r an electric taster, fr that matter. But d yu really want t play cmputer games n the 4 cm screen f yur mbile phne? D yu need yur cmputer t answer the phne, r yur TV t make tast?

Digital TV is a perfect example. When it arrived, we were prmised a better quality picture and mre chice. But at eleven 'clck at night as yu flick thrugh the 97 channels yu can nw get, it is nt the quality f the picture that yu wrry abut. Mre the fact that nt ne single prgramme is wrth watching.

After several frustrating weeks f finding all the right sftware fr yur new PC, then phning help desks when it desnt wrk, yu will prudly shw ff yur new machine t friends nly t hear h, are yu still using that ne? few mnths later, when yu try t buy sme minr spare part, yu find it is n lnger manufactured, and that it wuld be much cheaper t replace the whle cmputer with the new ne.

Very few peple really understand hw the machines they have bught wrk. S yu phne the sftware cmpany and they will tell yu its a hardware prblem. Yu then phne the hardware cmpany and they tell yu its a sftware prblem. Call centres are the wrst. Phne the s-called custmer care number, and after waiting n hld fr fifteen minutes yu will be tld yu need the sales department. The sales department will assure yu that its the technical department yu need, but surprise, surprise, the technical department put yu back thrugh t custmer care. Peple can spend weeks f their lives like this.

Apparently, teenagers nw d s much texting and e-mailing that their thumbs are getting bigger. Unfrtunately, they are als frgetting hw t spell. ne American schlgirl recently wrte her entire essay n 'My summer hlidays' in text speak. It began

B4 we used 2g2 NY 2C my br, his GF & thr 3 kids. ILNY it's a GR8 plc.

r fr yu and me: 'Befre we used t g t New Yrk t see my brther, his girlfriend and their three kids. I lve New Yrk it's a great place.'

A recent survey shwed that mre than eight ut f ten yung peple wuld rather text their friends r family than actually speak t them in persn. And accrding t the same survey, twenty-five percent f peple wuld answer their mbile phne even during a mment f passin. I ask yu, is this really a better wrld?

/ New Cutting Edge. Intermediate/


to fill the time

to stare at ,

to flick through

frustrating ,

minor -

spare part -

to wait on hold

to assure -


to spell

to do smth in person .-.

passion -


C. Answer these questions:

1. Why does the author think that computers cant save your time?

2. What might you worry about after flicking through the 97 channels you can now get? Is it the quality of the picture?

3. Does the author think that it is much cheaper to replace the whole computer than to buy minor spare parts?

4. Why teenagers forget how to spell?


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