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Top 5 Technological Advances That Are Actually Steps Backwards

Top 5 Technological Advances That Are Actually Steps Backwards

Anyone who owns a Smartphone or a Macbook can appreciate that we are rocketing into the future at the speed of genius. But not all technological breakthroughs come part and parcel with convenience. Check out our top five list of so-called advances that have done more harm than good.

5. Auto-Tuning

Sure, it's a lot of fun to watch the Symphony of Science series or hearing President Barack Obama sing “Call Me Maybe.” But auto-tuning has also convinced countless aspiring divas that they don’t have to be a good singer in order to be a professional singer. There have even been numerous complaints from concertgoers that their favorite artists sound completely different live than on their own albums. Ironically, auto-tune is falling flat. Zing!

4. Computer Graphics In Movies

Some epic battles and special effects just wouldn’t be possible without the use of computer graphics. Unfortunately, like every new invention, some people completely mess it up.

Let me paint the picture. In Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979), there is a scene where a robot’s disembodied head is sitting on a table being interrogated. The actor was under the table, and his scenes were cut together with shots of the replica robot head prop when he wasn't speaking. Flash-forward to 2012. In Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, we have a similar scene with a head on a table, except this time it’s entirely CG. It looks spectacularly fake and could easily have been done using the same technique. Is it really easier to pay a dozen computer nerds to work thousands of hours than to just have an actor under the table? Nope.

The Star Wars prequels are also egregious offenders, with every scene shot against a green screen. Not only does it rob actors of any sense of atmosphere, it looks entirely too... clean. The space frontier is dirty and chaotic, not palatial! No matter how good the effects are, it doesn't take mastery of the Force to figure out that poor Ewan McGregor has no idea who or what he's lightsaber-ing at.

3. Auto-Correct

Another feature with the best of intentions, Auto-Correct double-checks your spelling so you don’t have to. Too bad Auto-Correct is horrendous at figuring out context! The program has inspired several websites like and, with no shortage of submissions. How many relationships have been ruined by Auto-Correct assuming you meant something you didn’t? There’s a big difference between “I’m happy you’re home!” and “I’m happy you’re gone!”

2. 3-D Movies

3-D movies are being hyped as a 21st Century fad, but they were actually a cinema staple as early as the 1950s. Back then, Hollywood realized it was a cheap gimmick and stopped using it. Here we go again!

3-D adds nothing to the movie-going experience except headaches and a hike in ticket prices. Most films aren’t even shot in 3-D and are converted at the last minute so the studio can empty your wallet even faster. Hopefully, this infatuation will fade way before we get to Smell-O-Vision.

1. Wireless Video Game Controllers

Did anyone really mind having to plug in your video game controller? For whatever reason, all the major game companies thought so, and now the Age of Wireless Controllers that Don't Work is upon us.

At the rate these things eat up battery power, you may as well be dropping a quarter into your Nintendo every time you play a game. The princess still needs savin', but first you’d best pick up a $20 pack of Duracells, lie the controller flat, wait for the sensor to recognize it, and constantly swing your arms around like a lunatic before losing the connection and rebooting. By the way, Ganon took over Hyrule while you were cleaning up that drink you knocked over.

What ‘new technology’ gets on your nerves?

Tags: technology, nintendo, life, 3d movies, iphones

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About the Author
Becky Ferreira

Becky Ferreira is a writer, performer, and raptor based in New York.

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