Anti-Computer (Frankie – 2010)
Hundreds of years ago, Mothers would warn their children about getting square eyes from sitting too close to the telly. These days, the old wives tale has updated itself to contracting Oblong Eyes from computer abuse. The average Australian spends 75% of their time in front of a computer screen. (source: poor journalism). Here are some suggestions on how you can hit refresh on your Outlook.
1. Pimp Your Screen. Have the best of both worlds by hooking your laptop up to a data projector and blasting your workstation onto the big screen. Say goodbye to hopelessly anti-social nights hunched over your mouse with squinty eyes, Get some pals around and make it a family occasion. Hit the music and photo applications and make up your own bohemian slide show. End the evening with YouTube roulette, where you take turns programming your favourite videos – from film clips to old ads, animals doing stuff and inevitably ‘Three year old Korean boy singing Hey Jude.’
2. Go AWOL. Why should professionals be the only ones who get to use those auto-reply ‘I’m away from the office’ vacation messages? If you’re a student or vaguely self-employed, why not chalk yourself up some rostered days off and step away from the desk, even if it’s just into the lounge. Set your auto-reply to ‘Hey, I’ll be away from email but you can contact me on this number only if it’s URGENT.’ You not only get to take a break from the infernal screen, but you give the impression that you’re important and busy. By playing hard to get, you’ll double the demand from your colleagues and friends.
3. Real Life Facebook. Have you heard about the hot new trend that’s sweeping the US and UK and soon to catch on here? It’s called SOCIALISING! Apparently you just arrange to meet up with friends and LEAVE THE HOUSE. Real life Facebook is much less user friendly that its online companion as you have to converse in real-time and people can see from your body language what a shy weirdo you are. Apart from this it’s relatively the same. You’ll be bombarded with advertising, but you’re a lot harder to track for high school bogans. Most importantly there’s no staring at the screen, until you gravitate to the silent TV in the corner of the bar as you’ve run out of things to say – about Facebook.
4. Typed Postcards. If I have to read one more piece of pop-journalism about how ‘hand-written letters are making a retro comeback’ I’ll spew in my mouth. Despite being told for five years how it’s time to get out the pen and Anne Geddes paper, the truth is letters are poxy to write when your handwriting is that of a four year olds. Solution? Typewriters are cool and a postcard can be easily fed into the spool. Postcards are fun and no-one ever expects much from them. What would make for a banal email will seem much more exciting because you’ve gone to some trouble, and meanwhile your eyes can recover that fine layer of film they once had.
5. Robo-Secretary. Voice recognition and docu-speak technology has been floating around for a while now, so why not download it from one of your share sites? Triple the fun of worktime by having that contract read to you by a sexy robot, savouring every syllable. While intended for the visually impaired, let’s face it, as Oblong Eyes we’re all going half-blind. As the trend catches on, celebrities will lend their voices to the programs and you’ll have Morgan Freeman reading your friends travelblog while Bindi Irwin adds sparkle to those Centrelink reminders. Hopefully the next step is being able to lean back in your chair like an 80’s movie boss and dictate documents to your micro-chipped minion. The day will come when we can all stop being so mouse whipped, and make computers really work for us.