“People Are Always Scared of New Technology”

We don’t go through life talking in text speak, just like in the age of the telegraph people didn’t talk like telegrams. Some of it makes its way into the language like “OMG,” but we saw the same thing with proofreading terms like “stet” and “ibid” or things like that.

People are always scared of new technology. On the first trains, people had nervous breakdowns, because they were going too fast. When the first bicycles came out, people were warned about getting “bicycle face.” [Atwood pulls back the skin on her face to demonstrate, looking like the victim of a bad plastic surgeon.]

What people were really worried about was that it could enable sex, because you could get away from the home and parental control. There were similar concerns about the automobile. And a similar uproar was caused by the zipper. People preached sermons about the dangers of zippers. And now we have velcro! That’s even easier.

From here. Margaret Atwood is awesome.

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