I spent a fair amount of time at the gym this morning, first picking up heavy objects and then setting them down and then walking briskly in place. I did so not because of any New Year’s resolution but just as my monthly attempt to justify the money that comes out of my bank account regardless of how often I go and as another way to try and shed some pounds besides wandering around the woods.
As with my last couple of trips my biggest challenge wasn’t finding the motivation or the time, wasn’t dealing with crowds of people using the machines that I wanted or playing with their phones while sitting on the machines I wanted. My biggest challenge was getting in the door. My physical appearance would never make anyone believe that I had a gym membership but I used to have a little thingy hanging from my key chain that did that job.
Those thingies are now obsolete. Now I have log into an app from the parking lot and scan a QR code that pops up on my phone screen to prove I belong.
Try to log into an app from the parking lot and scan a QR code that pops up on my phone. My phone is about as obsolete as the old key chain thingies. As obsolete as I increasingly find myself.
It’s not just the gym, of course. To get into any kind of convention, concert, amusement park, sporting event or anything else where the ticket is purchased ahead of time there is no longer an actual ticket to present. There have been a few times already when I’ve pre-ordered movie tickets and had to present my phone for entry. For a period of time I wasn’t supposed to enter my place of employment without checking into a health monitoring app first.
I understand that we are saving a bunch of trees by transitioning to a paperless society and that this is the way of the future but does anybody else get a bit nervous at the way this is heading? In order to navigate everyday life there is quickly becoming a mandate to first purchase an expensive piece of technology that must be kept charged and on your person at all times.
I’m not advocating running off to a cave and turning one’s back on all of the ways that the Internet has simplified our lives but I do think there is a point where overreliance becomes a problem.
Prior to hitting the year 2000 there was a bit of a scare about what would happen to the world’s digital infrastructure when that date was reached and although the “Y2K” catastrophe never happened it did inspire film maker James Cameron to create the Dark Angel TV series. I don’t know who else remembers it but for two seasons Jessica Alba starred as a genetically enhanced super soldier in the dystopian future year of 2019 after terrorists detonate an electromagnetic pulse weapon that wipes out all of our electronics.
These were the days before You-Tube, Facebook and ad supported free pornography on the Internet and it was a huge worry then. How much worse would such a problem be now that we can’t even use coupons at the grocery store if we forget our phone in the car?
Previously Published on thirstydaddy.com and is republished on Medium.
Photo credit: iStock