trenchant.org

by adam mathes
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Shitlists

I’m getting too adept at using technology to insulate me from anything that makes me uneasy.

Those are the features I like best these days: nothing feels more empowering than to press the “x” button on launch.com that immediately and permanently tells them to never play to me any song by Pearl Jam ever again. And the “block” button in AIM that means I’ll never have to bother having a conversation with some random person who messages me with “hey asshole.” No need for a snappy retort, just one click and the pest is gone.

And it’s not just blocking. If I find that a web site bothers me, I just stop going to it. Why aggravate myself when there’s a million other web sites out there?

Old high school friends I haven’t talked to in years instant message me, but why respond and have an awkward virtual conversation when I can just sign off and take a nice nap instead?

Block lists, email filters, and database-backed personalization are making me into a timid, passive, and unaware drip who can safely and easily avoid conflict at the click of a button.

I know it just reflects a larger change in me from an angry, liberal, outspoken child who constantly challenged authority into a passive, unaware drip. I’m just getting older. College has made me less angry, more apathetic, and made me refocus on the path of least resistance and aggravation.

And besides, how can I really be upset when Amazon has a whole page just filled with what’s new for me, all just one-slick-click away from being delivered to my door?

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