Credit: Steve Jurvetson
Sergey Brin said it, so it must be true: Smartphones are emasculating.
Speaking at a TED conference earlier this week to show off the latest version of Google Glass, the Google co-founder opined thusly:
"You're actually socially isolating yourself with your phone," Brin told the audience. "I feel like it's kind of emasculating.... You're standing there just rubbing this featureless piece of glass....
"I whip this out and focus on it as though I have something very important to attend to," Brin added later, holding up his phone. "This [Google Glass] really takes away that excuse."
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And it's true: Girly men use smartphones. Manly men wear Google-approved goggles that make them look like Poindexter McNerdypants on his way to the AV Club dance.
But it got me to thinking about how emasculating much of our other technology is. Take tablets, for example. You call an iPad a computer? That's not a computer. It's an Etch-a-Sketch with an ego.
What do you do with a tablet? You tap, swipe, and pinch. Did you ever see John Wayne tapping, swiping, or pinching? No, you did not. Real men rustle, wrangle, and punch.
Real tech for real men
In fact, a true manly man -- or manly woman -- uses a liquid-nitrogen-cooled 16TB sextuple-core beast that requires 15 minutes' notice to the utility company before he turns it on. When he's traveling (on horseback or, more likely, barefoot over the badlands of South Dakota), he carries a 15-pound ruggedized laptop with broken glass Krazy Glued to the keyboard.
You know what else is emasculating? Social networks. What do you do on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin? You 'friend' people. You like the things they post. You follow them, hoping they'll follow you back. You ask them to please pretty please link to your profile and -- just maybe -- endorse your pathetic set of unmanly skills. In short, you act like a complete and utter wuss.
Real he-men and she-men don't ask other people to be their friends. They acquire targets, then conquer them. They force lesser beings into servitude. And when that person has outlived his or her usefulness, they "defriend" them by reaching into their rib cages with their bare hands, ripping out their still beating hearts, and devouring them.