No matter how impressive it gets (can you believe smartphones even exist?), technology does have its limits. Here are five things that I’m personally bummed out that we still can’t (reliably) do with our computers, phones, or tablets:
1. Catch every possible grammar and spelling mistake. You write something and spend days editing it, carefully crafting your sentences, meticulously choosing your words. Your brain is fried, and whenever you read over your document, it might as well be gibberish. Luckily, you can run spell check ….Only, because language isn’t a system with set rules, sometimes spell check also overlooks mistakes – or assumes certain things are mistakes that actually aren’t. Is there a way in our modern world to make sure that what you write is completely error-free? Probably not, as far as I can tell. One thing that can be helpful is to write your document, run spell check on it, and let it sit for a few days, then read it over again. Taking some distance will likely help you spot errors you missed the first time.
2. Buy clothes that are sure to fit. Online shopping is amazing and convenient, and there are a lot of sites out there that offer everything from detailed sizing charts, to views of the same clothes on different body types. But you’re still taking a risk. For example, what if the sleeves are just slightly too tight? Wouldn’t it be great if, say, there were a way for your computer to project size-accurate holograms of clothes onto your body? Although in some ways I’m terrified for the future (please don’t let a zombie apocalypse ever come to be!), I hope I’ll be around to see the evolution of online clothes shopping.
3. Guarantee safe delivery. Shipping problems can happen, and they aren’t always due to online companies’ mistakes or oversights. If only we could just buy something and have it teleported to us. I guess 3-D printers and e-books are the start of this idea. Who knows how far it will go?
4. Make a perfect translation. Stuart Heritage recently wrote a funny-but-true list in The Guardian about why using translation software will never compare to actually speaking a language. It seems obvious that a computer can’t recognize every linguistic nuance and double-meaning. But sadly, many businesses prefer to spend less money and hire people who rely only on this software, not personal knowledge of a language. ….On the bright side, if we stopped using translation software, there wouldn’t be those photos people post online featuring the often hilarious results.
5. Guarantee you’re talking to a real person. When you want to know more about someone, you can usually learn a lot by doing an internet search. But sometimes the internet can play tricks on you. For people who have been catfished (led to believe they’re in a long distance relationship, when they’re actually dealing with a person who’s created a false identity and is leading them on), even a Skype conversation wasn’t enough to confirm they were dealing with a figment of someone’s imagination. Catfishing is an intriguing phenomenon, but it’s also scary. Who wants to fall in love with someone and then find out they never really existed?
Technology has definitely transformed our lives, but there’s so much further to go. What are some of the things you wish modern technology could help you do?