THIRTY ONE SIGNS TECHNOLOGY HAS OVERTAKEN YOUR LIFE
1. Your stationery is more cluttered than Warren Beatty’s address book. The letterhead lists a fax number, e-mail address for two on-line services, and your Internet address, which spreads across the breadth of the letterhead and continues to the back. In essence, you have conceded that the first page of any letter you write “is” letterhead.
2. You have never sat through an entire movie without having at least one
device on your body beep or buzz.
3. You need to fill out a form that must be typewritten, but you can’t because
there isn’t one typewriter in your house — only computers with laser printers.
4. You think of the gadgets in our office as “friends,” but you forget to send
your father a birthday card.
5. You disdain people who use low baud rates.
6. When you go into a computer store, you eavesdrop on a salesperson talking
with customers — and you butt in to correct him and spend the next twenty
minutes answering the customer’s questions, while the salesperson stands by
silently, nodding his head.
7. You use the phrase “digital compression” in a conversation without thinking
how strange your mouth feels when you say it.
8. You constantly find yourself in groups of people to whom you say the phrase
“digital compression.” Everyone understands what you mean, and you are not
surprised or disappointed that you don’t have to explain it.
9. You know Bill Gates’ e-mail address, but you have to look up your own
social security number.
10. You stop saying “phone number” and replace it with “voice number,” since we
all know the majority of phone lines in any house are plugged into contraptions
that talk to other contraptions.
11. You sign Christmas cards by putting :-) next to your signature.
12. Off the top of your head, you can think of nineteen keystroke symbols that
are far more clever than :-).
13. You back up your data every day.
14. Your wife asks you to pick up some minipads for her at the store and you
return with a rest for your mouse.
15. You think jokes about being unable to program a VCR are stupid.
16. On vacation, you are reading a computer manual and turning the pages faster
than everyone else who is reading John Grisham novels.
17. The thought that a CD could refer to finance or music rarely enters your
18. You are able to argue persuasively the Ross Perot’s phrase “electronic town
hall” makes more sense than the term “information superhighway,” but you don’t
because, after all, the man still uses hand-drawn pie charts.
19. You go to computer trade shows and map out your path of the exhibit hall in
advance. But you cannot give someone directions to your house without looking up
the street names.
20. You would rather get more dots per inch than miles per gallon.
21. You become upset when a person calls you on the phone to sell you
something, but you think it’s okay for a computer to call and demand that you
start pushing buttons on your telephone to receive more information about the
product it is selling.
22. You know without a doubt that disks come in five-and-a-quarter and three-
and-half inch sizes.
23. Al Gore strikes you as an “intriguing” fellow.
24. You own a set of itty-bitty screw-drivers and you actually know where they
25. While contemporaries swap stories about their recent hernia surgeries, you
compare mouse-induced index-finger strain with a nine-year-old.
26. You are so knowledgeable about technology that you feel secure enough to
say “I don’t know” when someone asks you a technology question instead of
feeling compelled to make something up.
27. You rotate your screen savers more frequently than your automobile tires.
28. You have a functioning home copier machine, but every toaster you own turns
bread into charcoal.
29. You have ended friendships because of irreconcilably different opinions
about which is better — the track ball or the track “pad.”
30. You understand all the jokes in this message. If so, my friend, technology
has taken over your life. We suggest, for your own good, that you go lie under a
tree and write a haiku. And don’t use a laptop.
31. You e-mail this message to your friends over the net. You’d never get
around to showing it to them in person or reading it to them on the
phone. In fact, you have probably never met most of these people face-