Better how? We hear you ask. In plenty of ways. We lived happy lives before phones and email. We just didn’t really notice the changes happening over the years.
From televisions and laptops slimming down as we bulge out, to phones actually getting weaker, tech has surprisingly affected us in ways we may not have expected.
But a selection of very witty artists have noticed all the changes that tech has brought and made light of them. Yes most of them are changes for the worst. But the way these changes are so obvious, yet we barely notice them, is brilliant.
Of course, if you’re someone born after the internet, or after smartphones appeared, then all this might not make much sense.
Technology has got thinner, lighter, more portable and more accessible. The problem is it’s also made us lazier and in some cases fatter too. Tech shrinks, we grow. Not ideal.
Things have changed a lot over the decades. We used to pass the time with toys and video games, now spend more and more time online, reading amusing articles and laughing at memes or webcomics.
Google has made us lazy
Google has certainly made us lazy.
You don’t have to use your brain when you can Google the answer to a question, but what if Google doesn’t have the answer?
Gaming with friends
In the good old days, we’d spend time together, even when playing video games. All you needed was a TV, some controllers and room on the sofa for some pals and you had yourself some great split-screen gaming fun.
Now even co-op games are played over the internet so we see less of our friends, even if we might spend more time playing with them.
This one has been a running joke since Netflix rose in popularity – how many people have you given access to your Netflix account?
It really brings out the penny-pinching family members who don’t want to pay the subscription.
Microtransactions and loot boxes
The gaming industry is constantly changing. In the good old days, you had to work (or grind) to complete a game, unlock sidequests, access special characters and more.
Now gaming publishers have made it so you can just pay your way to victory. It’s nowhere near as rewarding, but people seem to love splashing out the extra cash, so it’s not changing any time soon. Loot boxes, microtransactions, season passes and special editions. Spend, spend, spend.
Not built to last
They just don’t make tech like they used to. There are plenty of hilarious memes about the robust and resilient Nokia phones of old and there’s a good reason for it.
Modern phones break far too easily. Sure, they’re much more feature-rich, but at what cost? Especially for us clumsy butter-fingered buffoons who can’t help but drop our devices.
Dealing with a rowdy horde
In the old days, it took boiling oil and hard words to deal with the rowdy masses, now you can upset people by just turning off their internet.
It’s amazing how anxious people get when they can’t access Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
Hot dog legs
Can’t even enjoy a good holiday nowadays without staring at your phone or snapping photos of your tanning legs.
We used to just soak in the surroundings and have a good time, now we’re all too caught up on sharing snaps or catching up on our friends’ latest antics.
Too cool for social
A couple of years ago, people would have thought they were cooler than you because they didn’t have a Facebook account.
Now it might actually be a sensible move, what with the all the hacking, privacy leaks and data issues behind the social network (and other sites). Sometimes we think it might be better to just give it all up and go live in a cave.
With access to the internet, it’s a lot easier to access more information and digest more while you take a break.
But it often means we spend more time in the bathroom than we probably should. And there’s always the danger of water damage to your precious iPad or browsing device of choice.
We used to go outside to play and have fun and frolics in the mud with friends. Kids nowadays go outside to catch Pokemon.
It’s too easy to smash your way through an entire season of a show, blinded into a TV-watching stupor by the convenience of it all.
In the old days, you’d have to get up to put the new VHS tapes or DVDs in or wait a week for the next episode. Now we’re all slaves to the screen.
Even parenting is hard
Thanks to the proliferation of technology, even being a parent is hard in modern times. In the old days, we’d have just been sent to our room as a punishment if we misbehaved, where there was nothing to do but stare at the walls or maybe read a book.
Now kids have phones, tablets, televisions and more. You have to think of new ways to punish them, like cutting off the Wi-Fi or maybe even the power to the entire house.
Go and play outside
Kids these days are too clever for their own good. Go outside and play? Get some fresh air and a spot of sunshine? Sure, why not, as long as they can take a screen with them.
Technology has changed plenty of things over the years, including vast improvements in the movie industry with CGI and green screen trickery making things much more convincing and interesting on the big screen. That’s not always a good thing though, the creativity of the FX department isn’t what it once was. Just look at this comparison image of Star Wars wizardry then versus now.
A game of football
Going outside for a game of football is so overrated when you can just fire up FIFA and pretend you’re a real pro. No need to get dirty or risk breathing fresh air.
The technology to store digital files have become cheaper and cheaper over the years. You could argue that’s no bad thing – you can now store more games, photos, videos and more with ease. But have we become complacent?
Do we treasure our digital memories anymore? Or are we just snap-happy hoarders?
When we were nippers we used to turn to our parents for help with building Lego, setting up toys and playing games. Now they turn to us for help fixing their tablets, phones or computers. It’s good to feel useful, not so good to see our heroes baffled by the technology we’ve grown up with.
Technology has come on in leaps and bounds
It won’t be long before people don’t know what a landline phone looks like or have never heard the nostalgia-inducing tone of a modem dialling up.
Like a calling siren, the constant bombardment of notifications is often too much to resist. These gadgets, gizmos and social networks are constantly screaming for our attention and are certainly getting in the way of more important things.
No one forgets your birthday
Technology has even ruined birthdays. Sure, no one is going to forget your birthday anymore as Facebook is always on hand to let them know it’s your born day, but you’re less likely to get a card now.
No idea is original
Technology is not necessarily to blame for this one. But it certainly does feel like no idea is original, they’re constantly remaking old films and the cinema is regularly showing remakes, reboots and more. Now we can even watch them all on our phones.
A good book
There’s nothing quite like a good book, hold on, a notification, better check what this is. Ooooooooh, interesting.
Far too easy to get distracted by your phone. Did you ever get distracted by a book?
Before we eat…
You can’t possibly eat a meal without first recording it in image form for prosperities sake. At least it’s easier to snap a photo than it is to etch out a cave drawing though. Cave people had it hard.
How many letters do you get dropping through your door or mailbox that are actually from real people, rather than just bills, invoices or unwanted junk mail?
Now our email inboxes are also stuffed with nonsense, but maybe we appreciate the little things more.
Every so often, the Steam sales kick-off and PC gamers nurse their wallets, spending more than they should on games they don’t need and probably won’t play.
Games are so affordable nowadays, it’s far too easy to end up owning a massive collection of games and having too many – not knowing what to play when you have time to get a good gaming session in.
Gadgets have changed so much that young people are often baffled by the old tech they’ve seen. Not a problem for them necessarily, but it certainly makes us feel old and over the hill.
Running is hard work
Technology is designed to make our lives easier. You can now track your run, monitor your heart rate, stream your favourite tunes while on the go and of course, share all that on social afterwards. It’s a hassle, but have you even gone for a run if no one knows about it?
Data plans are a nightmare
There’s nothing like worrying about how much it’s cost you to accidentally use too much data on your phone because you forgot to connect to Wi-Fi. Not as financially painful as accidentally roaming, but still not great.
Speaking to people is overrated
Texting, instant messaging and all sorts of apps that help us keep in touch actually seem to have stopped us talking to one another.
When was the last time you answered a call? Especially from a number you don’t recognise.
Dinner with friends
Technology has even spoilt dinner with friends. You can’t even have a nice meal without someone breaking out their phone. Of course, it’s great to be able to grab your device to quickly find the answer to a trivia question that has you all stumped, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could just chat?
Hopes and dreams
It’s not always technology that’s made life worse, sometimes it’s the life hassles standing in the way of your tech.
For example, pesky parenting duties getting in the way of your gaming or the hassle of having to work a job to pay for your games library.
You wouldn’t download a car
Our parents always made a point of teaching us the importance of sharing with our siblings and playing nice, but apparently sharing torrented files and cracked programs isn’t acceptable. Who knew.
There’s nothing quite like laughing out loud at a good joke you’ve read on the web or a hilarious video you’ve just caught on YouTube, but you only end up looking like a mad man. Instead, we spend most of our time lying about our emotions with the use of emojis.
Some people believe in no hanky-panky before marriage, more modern thinkers believe you should test how they handle slow internet or no Wi-Fi.
Writing by Luke Edwards and Adrian Willings.