Modern technology is the thing that separates us from mindless beasts. It has changed nearly every aspect of our daily lives for the better. Modern medicine has allowed us to live longer, advancements in engineering have allowed us to put a laser-wielding robot on Mars and modern television technology has led to us being able to watch shows like Whitney (I did say almost every aspect).
But there is one area of our lives, one facet of modern society that advanced technology is inarguably making worse: Getting drunk. Gone are the Mad Men-esque days when men would sit around in sharp suits, drink scotch and scheme about sleeping with one anothers’ wives in relative solitude. Now every minute of your drunken merriment is Instagrammed, Tweeted, LinkedIn-ed and just generally documented in its entirety for the world to see. Here are four examples of modern machines that are making the art of getting drunk less fun.
1. The Digital Camera
The digital camera shatters any illusions we might have about how attractive, suave or vertical we were the night before. While our memory recalls busting out some killer moves on the dance-floor and chatting up an attractive redhead, the pictures reveal us shuffling spasmodically and talking to a coat-rack. These unfortunate windows into the past should be relatively easy to avoid since all one has to do is not bring out a camera. Unfortunately there exists a certain type of person (let’s call them “women”) that is seemingly incapable of enjoying a night out if there isn’t some sort of tangible record of it. Short of frisking all your female friends before heading out (which, I can state from personal experience, they do not appreciate!) your chances of avoiding the camera are negligible.
Of course, on its own the digital camera is merely a nuisance, the reason why you have to pause in your drunken merriment to pose awkwardly and wait while a girl struggles to remember how you turn on the flash in clubs. No, the real enemy is the social network sites that publish these photos for the entire world to see.
Believe it or not, kids but there once was a time when you could go out, get spectacularly drunk, make a fool out of yourself and the next day whatever happened would stay between you, your friends and the staff of that highly suspect tattoo parlor/strip club. These days are long gone as now the eight words we most fear after a night of drinking are no longer “Hey, I think the condom might have broken” or “Son, you have the right to remain silent” but “You have been tagged in 18 new photos.” As if an apocalyptic hangover wasn’t enough punishment for our transgressions most of us now need to spend the morning after watching our newsfeeds like some sort of bleary-eyed, regretful hawk, ready to hit the “un-tag button” as fast as humanly possible.
As if an exhaustive pictorial record of every bad decision you ever made wasn’t bad enough, Facebook’s “checking in” feature now makes it increasingly difficult to lie to people you don’t particularly like. It’s hard to tell that one over-eager acquaintance from high school that you aren’t up to much while you’re back in town when Facebook is helpfully stating that you’re attending a bikini and booze party 5 minutes from his house. Time was that you could slink into your office , twenty minutes late and sweating lighter fluid, and pass off your fatigue, nausea and inability to stand up as the symptoms of flu. Nowadays your co-workers know better because your over-enthusiastic friend checked you into the club the night before under the heading “Getting crazy drunk tonight! Screw work!” You can try to pass it off as a joke but those 19 photos of you doing body shots tell a different, more humiliating story.
In the good old days the only consequence of getting smashed in the vicinity of your phone were drunk-dialing an ex or ordering Mexican food of questionable quality. While a new restraining order or severe gastric distress were never fun to wake up to the next morning, they pale in comparison to what havoc modern phones and wreak.
These days our phones have the ability to take high-definition pictures and videos and to instantly upload this information to the internet for the entire world to see. I can’t be alone in thinking that there is no way that drunk people should have access to this sort of technology, can I? Absolutely no good can come of it. Modern smart phones contain more sophisticated tech than that which was used to send man to the moon and I think a good rule of thumb for society should be to never allow a drunk person access to supra-N.A.S.A grade equipment.
Even if, by some miracle, a drunk person doesn’t try to combine their junk, camera-phone and Tumblr account in some new and imaginative way there’s still one other technological obstacle that every alcohol enthusiast must overcome: Twitter. With the touch of a button (or, more accurately, the inebriated pawing of a touch screen) you can transmit your thoughts and ideas to hundreds or thousands of people instantly. While some drunks use this to make legitimately funny jokes, the vast majority use it to post misspelled, all-caps rants about the lack of KFC outlets open at 5am. Worse, Twitter has also spawned an entirely new type of drunken @$$#()!%: The Constant Updater. On any given Friday night you can settle in and get up to the minute, blow-by-blow updates on annoying people’s nights out. Our advice? As soon as you see the “Just out on the town with my girlz/bros” tweet combined with a grainy, sepia-toned pic of some Jäger-Bombs, hit the “unfollow” button.
Richy Craven is a sophisticated machine for turning whiskey into regrettable life-choices. You can check out more of his stuff over at Cracked, A Series of Terrible Decisions or, if you like mediocre jokes about Batman and Game of Thrones, follow him on Twitter.
Richy struck a balance between ridiculousness and reality with Bat-Villains Too Lame to Be in a Dark Knight Movie and The 5 Nuttiest Real Life Superheroes.