12 ways that technology has made the world a worse place to live in
At the outset, we'll admit that we could no longer live in a world without technology.
We tolerate Facebook, we love Twitter, we think Periscope is going to be bloody massive and we do most of our texting through WhatsApp nowadays.
In your lifetime you'll probably read 131 different articles outlining 71 different reasons to hate Mother Technology, but none of them will be as good as this.
We're 42% sure of it.
Meeting someone in a pub is considered a bit passé
Up to ten years ago, meeting someone online was the kind of thing you only did if you were desperate, American or both. Anyone sitting behind a computer screen was assumed to be a serial killer or somebody who listened exclusively to Chris de Burgh. Not to be trusted.
Sites like AnotherFriend and MakeFriendsOnline brought online dating into the public consciousness, if not quite complete acceptance, but nowadays if you haven't met someone through Tinder or at least run a Google search on them before a first date, you're given the beady eye.
Meeting someone in a pub, completely unvetted, is now considered a bit passé and even strange. It's as though camaraderie and that initial spark can only exist if someone tweets regularly, wittily, and has never posted a selfie with a cat.
You can't hail a taxi on the street
Damn you, Hailo. Screw you, Uber. Taxi drivers are better connected than Mark Zuckerberg at this stage.
One morning last week, for instance, my alarm didn't go off (more on that later) and I left the house looking like the 'before scene' in a Lynx ad. A full 12 taxis passed me, all thanks to Hailuber, and I was met with 17 flakes of JOE founder Niall McGarry's stick of justice* upon my late arrival in work.
It's impossible to pull a sickie in work
You've just checked into Cineworld, you complete cretin, despite calling your boss from the inside of a toilet bowl at 8.20am this morning.
If you're pulling a sickie, lads, go easy on the tweets. Stay off Facebook. The best thing you can do is pretend that every single piece of portable technology is ill along with you and remember that your movements are potentially being tracked - Ferris Bueller-style - at all times.
You really have no excuse for being late to anything
*I wasn't really late to work this week. I lied to illustrate a point. Sorry Niall.
How can you be late when every single poxy piece of technology - from bedside radio to phone to central heating control system to oven to kettle to watch to those stupid bloody 'smart underpants' I got in my Christmas stocking - has an alarm on it?
There really is no excuse, and I hate that. Being late always made me feel like I was better than other people, more important, like my time was far more precious than those considerate proles who would insist on being on time.
You can't have a quiet pint without some gobshite taking a peace-sign selfie at the next table
Chatting to Paul Moore about this whole subject he insists that, "technology ruins language, ruins conversations, makes perfectly decent people craft idiotic online personas that turn them into figures of hate among the right thinking members of society."
These are, in my opinion, the kinds of people who flick peace signs to the camera during a quiet pint in The Long Hall.
Yep. I look like a d*ck.
You can't have a quiet pint, full stop
Not when the group next to you is Periscoping their session over to their mates in Australia; not when the lad at the bar is on a conference call and pretending he's still in the office; not when the Spotify playlist is screaming things out about how much hate those haters are going to inflict on their subject; not when the person you're with is fighting with his Instagram filters.
Time to go home and read a book.
If you haven't responded to your WhatsApp group in over half an hour, people assume you've been killed in some tragic accident
For the love of God.
I am not in a ditch in Laois.
Forgive me for taking a few minutes to hang up the washing and not being forever enslaved to your emoji-filled stream of rambling detritus. Ya bastards.
Communal TV watching is dead, and we live in an age of spoilers
Gather around and let us tell ye a tale about Sundays in the Cuddihy household. There was Where In The World. There was Glenroe. There was, yes, The Waltons. Everyone was watching the same stuff at the same time, and there was no red button.
If offices seem quieter these days, it's because nobody dare speak above a whisper in case they give away the fact that Walter White is really a woman who relocated to Craggy Island and became - much later in life - a certain Mrs. Doyle.
Avoiding the football results to watch Match of the Day later is almost impossible
There's no point. Information is bloody everywhere, from goal alerts to text messages to Vines of goals to this and that and the other.
Getting all the way to Sunday night and Match of the Day 2 without knowing the scores from the day's matches is the kind of thing that certain men can manage, but not me.
No willpower, you see.
It won't be long before words are totally extinct, replaced by little yellow crying/laughing/eating/babbling faces and tiny pixelated... I don't know. I'm either too jaded or too angry to finish that sentence.
Emojis, emoticons. LOLs, Soz, WTFs, OMGs and pluralising anything, anything at all, with the letter 'z' replacing the 's'. Technology has given us an awful lot, but it's also dumbed down language to, like, y'know, whatevs, soz.
You can't watch a gig without the glare of a thousand smartphones
You'll never watch it again. You won't. You like to think you will, but you won't.
Put it away and be in the room.
Technology has ruined table quizzes
Google has everything, what with its ready access to the capital of Venezuela and the most-watched show on Netflix.
For table quizzes, let us suggest a mandatory airport scanner and all smartphones left for collection later.
New age fascism, maybe, but effective.