Jessica Ravitz is a Luddite, genetically stupid and smug – but she still thinks she's better than you

These pompous articles pop up every now and then. Jessica Ravitz’s CNN piece is just the latest in a long line of them.

I get that some people (and not just senior citizens) don’t like “technology”. I get that some people think our fetishization of tech is a bad thing (I would agree). But what I don’t get is those people who proudly trumpet their stupidity as if it were a kind of Merit Badge and, even worse, use their stupidity as a club to somehow argue it makes them better than the rest of us.

Ravitz says:

My aversion has everything to do with who I am — and who I desperately don’t want to be, and by that I mean many of you.

Does that make any sense to anyone?

She then uses a kneeslapping story about how one of her father’s cousins mistook the remote for a cell phone (Oh, the hilarity!) as code to show her family is genetically predisposed towards being “dubious about and don’t need technological advances.” Really? You don’t need technological advances? How are your car’s anti-lock brakes working for you? Happy to have a working smoke alarm in your home? Do you use…oh…I don’t know THE INTERNET TO POST YOUR STORIES FOR CNN?

She makes it worse but not only acknowledging her lack of interest in technology but in actively working against it. She says:

People swore (my new MacBook Pro) would change my attitude about technology. They said it was intuitive, a good thing since I don’t read instruction manuals.

You don’t like “technology”, you claim your inability to use it is genetic but, when you buy technology and instructions are provided to assist you with it, you actively ignore them?

You’ve stopped being a Luddite and stepped over the line into “The Stupid”.

I kind of hated (the MacBook Pro) — in part because I found the screen so hard to see. Imagine my surprise and gratitude when a colleague recently walked by, reached over and tapped some button a bunch of times, and the whole thing brightened before my eyes.

So, because you didn’t take responsibility for your own education – you didn’t read a manual, you didn’t take the opportunity to learn about your laptop from the manufacturer, you didn’t ask your fellow employees or maybe your company’s IT department, you didn’t read a book, you didn’t go to an online forum, you didn’t ask Twitter or Facebook, you didn’t use the included “Help” that is right there at the top of your Macbook’s screen – YOU SAT THERE FOR THREE FUCKING YEARS, HAPPILY MISERABLE OVER THE DIMNESS OF YOUR LAPTOP’S SCREEN.

Jesus Christ.

As people camped out overnight and fought crowds, just so they could wait in line to buy their fifth iPhone, I kicked back and relaxed. Now, I get to laugh as the gripes pour in.

Ah yes. You are so superior to those who lust after technology. You are so far above those who grovel at the feet of the Technology Gods. Your life is so much better because you “don’t know what it’s like to covet such a thing.”

Yet you’re too stupid to know where the Brightness Button is on your laptop.

I can’t help but think about the kids I just visited in a refugee camp who are dying for the one bowl of food they get in a day.

She piles on the moral superiority too. That really hurts. And is completely fucking irrelevant.

She says:

I don’t want to receive pictures of anyone’s dinner while I’m out having mine. I don’t want to check out of an actual conversation because a random friend used an app to check in for an eyebrow wax. I don’t want to read work e-mails on a beach vacation when I should be reading a novel.

Does she somehow believe those things are forced on those of us who use the technology? That somehow, we have no control over it and, once you buy a smartphone, the cell provider has complete control over you via some kind of mind meld?

It would help if you understand a thing before you start critiquing it. In this regard, I blame CNN. This would be an easily ignored blog post if it were found on Tumblr. But (James Earl Jones voice over) “This is CNN”. Maybe I shouldn’t expect more but I’m idealist enough to believe CNN employees writers who know what the fuck they are talking about before they send them a check. From the above paragraph alone, Ms Ravitz has no clue.

I realize I probably sound self-righteous, but I find this must-have mentality both absurd and borderline icky.

YA THINK!? But don’t worry – I find your smug stupidity just as absurd.

I’ll leave the last word to one of Ravitz’s own friends who said to her over dinner:

“Honey, I hate to break this to you, but it’s not your phone that’s stupid.”


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