Forget Ghosts and Goblins and Things that Go Bump in the Night. What’s Really Scary? Technology.

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scared of technology

E-mail inboxes are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. Sometimes it’s recipes from your grandma. Sometimes it’s ads from furniture outlets begging you to buy a coffee table. Sometimes it’s notifications from Nigerian princes, telling you you’re wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.

And every once in a while, you get a Plugged In blog idea.

When I received the following clip (from friend, colleague and former Jeopardy contestant Kyle Adams), it reminded me of something we often remind you about: the abject terrors of technology.

No, really.

The 2052-era teens in the clip are horrified when Gramps spins his terrifying yarn of impossibly slow 4G networks and impossibly heavy iPhones and, of course, the dread of Redbox. But the beauty of this little skit is that it works both ways: It echoes are own apprehension of what our wired future might hold.

When one kid asks Gramps how he could live in such a backward time—“How were you still interested in something after five minutes of not having it?!”—it reminds us how technology can rob us of our ability to focus. When another kid talks about how ax-murder stories are all the rage on “PBS Kids,” it reflects our fears of a coarsening culture. On screen, it’s the kids who are scared. But it works because it’s the parents watching who are.

An insightful article in The New York Times reflects that growing unease. Reporter Nellie Bowles says that screen-free time has become a luxury good. Why? She writes this:

The rich have grown afraid of screens. They want their children to play with blocks, and tech-free private schools are booming. Humans are more expensive, and rich people are willing and able to pay for them. Conspicuous human interaction — living without a phone for a day, quitting social networks and not answering email — has become a status symbol.

The rich have grown afraid of screens. But you don’t have to be rich to feel the fear. Truth be told, most of us are a bit uneasy.

We see that fear everywhere: Many a horror movie reflects our fear of technology and the realities in might usher in. Netflix’s Black Mirror has been delving into the terrifying side of technology for four seasons now—its very name serving as a dual reference to the occult practice of scrying and the black screens we stare at on our phones.

We fear technology, in part, because we know how powerful it is and how much it’s part of our lives today. But we also fear it because we don’t know exactly how it’ll influence us tomorrow. And I’ve reviewed enough horror movies to know that it’s the fear of the unknown that’s the worst fear of all.

The solution? Information, of course. Education. Once the horror-movie bogeyman is unveiled—once we see it for what it is, however ugly and terrifying it still might be—a little of that fear slips away. It’s not a matter of hiding from this unseen monster anymore: It’s now a matter of dealing with it.

We’ll do our best to help you grow and stay informed with the ever-changing world of technology—like with our Parent’s Guide to Technology published not-so-very-long ago. We’ll keep reporting and writing about tech on this very blog. And when appropriate, we’ll point you to other resources, too.

Technology can indeed be a frightening thing, especially when your kids seem to understand it better than you do. But we’ll do our best to peel away the masks and help you walk through this world as best we can.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Kendall Litzsinger More than 1 year ago
we get it, you hate progress, but news flash, it isn't 1950, it's 2019
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=N4BbxV3iJg8
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone else see the new Avengers trailer and can't wait for the film?

Also, did anyone see the new trailer for the Ted Bundy movie with Zac Efron made by Netflix? That looks like an amazing biopic. I read his story online and was horrified. Netflix looks like they may have scored on that one. Zac Efron does an amazing job just in the trailers!

Posted By (You guessed it!) A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

What does the Avengers and Ted Bundy have to do with this blog post?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing. XD

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I mean an argument could be made that Avengers has technology in it. But I'm not going to try.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

How about saving the Avengers and Ted Bundy talk for when it’s actually, y’know, relavant?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, they probably won't be for a while, just saying. Except for Avengers. The Avengers will always be relevant.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Except for this blog post, because it doesn’t mention the Avengers at all. So why bring up the Avengers and their newest trailer when both are completely off topic?

If you want to talk about a topic that’s not relavant, wait until it is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw the trailer. It looks pretty awesome! I like the grim look of it. Even though we all know the Avengers win in the end!
:P. 
-C
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But what is the cost? Who is going to die? And do they actually win?

That part where the Trinity of heroes is walking towards Thanos gave me shivers down my spine.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
True, A-Non-Mouse. I'm expecting some losses for sure...it's going to be rough. :( 
-C 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, it will be. As long as Peter Parker comes back and survives and Ant-Man and the Wasp survive, I'll be ok.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peter will be back for sure! He's got to come back for Far From Home! I'm more worried about Captain America...I think he and probably Tony Stark are the most likely to die saving everyone else. 
-C
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree with you about Tony and Cap.

But Far From Home's timeline has yet to be revealed. Does this take place before or after Endgame? I'm sure it'll probably be after, but until I'm certain, hoping Peter survives. He's the best Spider-Man we've had yet.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I still can't believe Alex Trebek has Stage 4 cancer and his chances of survival are slim to none. I've been an avid Jeopardy watcher for decades now, so once he goes I'll probably stop watching since I can't imagine anybody else taking his place.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Love Studio C! They're the greatest!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They are pretty great. I prefer Good Mythical Morning and Smosh over them though.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy 


Smosh tends to be a little immature. Haven’t heard of Good Mythical Morning, I’ll have to check them out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They are a little immature too. GMM just bought them. The guys on GMM are Christians (Rhett and Link). Their show is really funny.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Lyn Chartowich More than 1 year ago
Ikr, Studio C is the greatest! Have you seen JK Studios yet?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Not yet, but I'm working on seeing that sometime soon.
Lyn Chartowich More than 1 year ago
Yeah, they're funny.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

By the way, happy birthday!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How do you know it's her Birthday? Do you know her IRL?

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Ahem.
https://pluggedin.focusonthefamily.com/box-office-gives-plenty-of-money-to-us/
Lyn Chartowich More than 1 year ago
Thank you!!!