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Top 10 Most Depressing Innovations

Top 10 Most Depressing Innovations

By Tim Wainwright

Technology has brought us many wonderful things: IMAX theaters, Netflix, and cars. But progress has a dark side. Here are ten new products that will make you want to sigh, light your pipe, and pour yourself a whiskey as you watch the world descend into anarchy from the safety of your steam-powered fortress.

1. “Forever Alone” dining tables

Our society decides to have citizens spend the first twenty-odd years of their lives in dehumanizing, bureaucratic cesspools of standardized testing and institutionalized boredom. One such school in Japan has basically given up on students ever having social interaction ever, and has brought a cafeteria table for one into the world.

Now, there's nothing wrong with getting your introvert on—but the soulless blank wall of this solitary confinement pod is clearly designed for crushing the human spirit. Sad face.

2. Webcam Facelifts

There's a lot of writing about plastic surgery as a symptom of a collective terror of old age and death, a narcissistic obsession with appearance in place of substance. But if it wasn't sad enough that we're all trying to con the crap out of each other in plastic pleas for approval, check out the latest, hottest offer from plastic surgeons: webcam facelifts.

Get your webcam facelift before your first blind Skype date, then rush out and get a daylight facelift before the first real-world coffee! Wahooooo!

3. Child Leashes

Look, we're going to avoid the whole leash debate. No judgment if your parents put you on a leash. But even if we assume that sometimes these things are necessary, we can still agree that living in such a clogged and crowded world that we need to put children on leashes is depressing in itself.

Look at this great tumblr of Children on Leashes to form your own opinion.

4. Adultery Dating Websites

Websites for married people who are looking to have affairs. And yeah, there are more than one.  A reporter who set up meetings with some men on one of the sites describes one man: "He was 15 minutes late with no apology and he didn’t take his sunglasses off once. He complimented me on my appearance and remarked that I ‘made a refreshing change from the crazy types he’s met before’."

5. The iStraw

Do you ever drink a giant beverage and just think to yourself, "If only I could be facetiming someone on my phone right now to show off my straw sucking ability?" If so, then the iStraw is for you. It is a plastic holder for your phone that clips on to the top of a cup. Because we've become such a nation of vegetables that, you know, lifting things that weigh less than a pound is just such a drag. Hat tip to Jezebel for finding this depressing gem.

6. The Facebook Hug Vest

Someone invented a vest that's connected by some sorcery to the internet. When you get a Like on Facebook, the vest inflates to apply pressure on your body that simulates a human hug.

The perfect thing to console you as you sit at your Forever Alone dining table woodenly watching for new notifications as you slurp a giant beverage with an iStraw.

7. Lovotics

Depressing, terrifying, both: meet Lovotics, a new science mixing love with, yes, robots. The field is still in its infancy, but it's already given us the Kissenger. No reading between the lines necessary—the website expressly states that this product is designed to make possible a "Human to Robot Kiss" and a "Human to Virtual Character Kiss". All those makeout sessions you imagined with your favorite video game character are this much closer to reality.

8. In20years.com

The website isn't intrinsically depressing, but our pictures sure were!

9. Arookoo

This depressing app turns walking into a game.

Rejected titles include: "PLEASE, MOVE! JUST GET OFF YOUR ASS ONE TIME TODAY I BEG YOU! YOU'LL THANK ME!"

10. Baby Mops

Okay, maybe you weren't really buying the whole "Child Leashes" are depressing thing. But can we agree that using babies as dust rags is just a little sad? Photo credit to Huffington Post.

One commenter recommends, "For added effectiveness, don't feed the toddler the day before, then place tiny pieces of chocolate in strategic places on the floor--- especially the corners, to make sure the whole floor gets clean. Have a bucket of Murphy's solution to dip baby in periodically."

What are some of the newest technological innovations that you find most depressing?

Tags: summer, school, youtube, lists, robots, depressing, gawker

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About the Author
Tim Wainwright

Tim Wainwright writes about monsters, sexual ethics, and public sector employee pension reform--and sometimes other things. You can follow him on twitter @Tim_Wainwright , because he has a strange desire to have people read the things he writes. He is growing to accept the fact that people will always call him "bud", and that he will never pull off the cowboy hat look.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.