We all know that the bros in charge of Silicon Valley are getting rich off stealing all our personal information and probably secretly listening to us talk in order to use our deepest desires and insecurities to sell us shit. What you might not know about are the tech disasters causing actual physical injuries that have been occurring with terrifying frequency lately. Elon Musk and co. aren’t satisfied with just stealing our identities to get rich, they’re also down to literally kill us to do it. Thus, we bring you a roundup of the most worrying examples so you can be fully aware of the bizarre new ways Silicon Valley is setting us up to die in the future. Happy Monday, I hope you brought Xanax to work today.
Self Driving Car Crash
In late March, a Tesla Model X SUV driver was using the car’s Autopilot feature when the car crashed into a concrete highway divider and literally “burst into flames”. The autopilot system is not designed for true self-driving, but is meant to improve the ease and safety of driving while still requiring the human driver to pay attention. This month, in Tesla’s fourth car crash of the year, a Model S on autopilot hit a stopped firetruck. Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears to be focused on using another Silicon Valley invention, Twitter, to flirt with pop stars. Clearly he has his priorities straight.
As if there weren’t enough reasons to hate cryptocurrency, now bitcoin thieves are literally holding people at gunpoint for access to their virtual wallets. Bitcoin is seriously layers of fucked up, from the fact that bitcoin mining uses more fossil fuel energy annually than 19 European countries to the influx of Bitcion-rich bros attempting to basically colonize Hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico and replace it with a crypto utopia literally called Puertopia. As though people don’t, you know, live there. Oh, and the value of a cryptocurrency is truly based on bros sitting around using the pure psychic power of being a white dude to think so hard about how cool their Bitcoin is that the Dow literally decides to agree with them. Must be nice.
Anyway, if all of that doesn’t convince you to stick to normal credit cards or at least Venmo, now purchasing cryptocurrencies might literally get you killed. In Canada, a group of thieves tied up employees at a Bitcoin company and held them hostage at gunpoint in an attempt to extort them for cryptocurrency. In December, bitcoin burglars kidnapped a Ukrainian bitcoin executive and in January another group of armed robbers staged a home break-in and forced a cryptocurrency trader to transfer them his Bitcoin, also at gunpoint. Basically, if your Hinge date this week is a Bitcoin bro, he probably has a shitty personality and he also might get you robbed at gunpoint. Swipe left.
As someone who is not ashamed to charge my vape at a pregame and whose limited edition rose gold Juul might be my prized possession, this one is honestly hard for me to write. Unfortunately, last week a Florida man’s e-cigarette literally killed him after it exploded, leaving him with burns and a fatal head wound. I’m not sure if it’s more embarrassing to die in a hover board or vape explosion, but maybe we should all just stick to legal weed at this point.
Solar Panel Burns
Trying to choose my last fave tech bro is honestly harder than ranking the Trump children on a scale of horribleness. Elon Musk is making a strong case for himself though, starting with his self-driving cars that kill people and coming in hot just this month as reports come out of extreme safety violations at Tesla solar energy plants. One employee was electrically shocked and burned after Tesla did not train workers properly or offer them protective gear to wear while installing solar panels. Basically, even renewable energy that might save us from total climate disaster could also kill us. Great.
Literally Just Stress
To conclude this incredibly depressing listicle (sorry), your future job at a tech startup might have beer and nitro cold brew on tap, but the debilitating stress of your work might drive you to develop high blood pressure, heart problems, and a variety of mental health issues. Silicon Valley has been dealing with some bad PR lately for a few minor things like selling our personal data to the Trump campaign and the aforementioned exploding devices, but the companies have also been receiving flak for stigmatizing mental illness and working their employees to the point of mental exhaustion and depression, with some even committing suicide. Amazon in particular experienced some well-deserved public shaming after a New York Times investigation revealed insane expectations of 24/7 availability and a culture of colleagues sabotaging each other that literally led to people publicly crying at their desks. Cool, sounds like Amazon is a more toxic social environment than my middle school.
Now that you’ve been fully informed of the dangers lurking in your self-driving uber, go soothe yourself by buying some overpriced fusion cuisine from a cash only food truck and driving your own car yourself. It’s not the singularity yet!
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Sad news for the basic among us, those liquid glitter phone cases you probably considered buying but then realized are incredibly tacky are apparently extremely dangerous. According to an ABC news report, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a recall on several models of iPhone cases made by the company MixBin, because their mesmerizing glitter liquid was leaking out and burning people. Umm…wow. Who knew literally every girl who ordered a unicorn frappuccino un-ironically was also in possession of such a dangerous weapon? Sorry to all the Beckys of the world. I know your community has been hit the hardest. It’s survival of the least basic, or whatever it was that Darwin guy was talking about. This whole incident got us thinking, if glitter cases are the uniform for the basic, what do other iPhone cases mean? The phone case is, after all, wayyy more than just a tool to protect your phone from water damage. It also tells the world precisely how much of a hot mess you are. Honestly, dating apps should have a section where you’re asked to describe your phone case and whether or not you’re rocking an Android. It would save all of us a lot of trouble. So for those of you who are wondering what your phone case says about you, here is our heavily
made up researched assessment:
Indestructible/Battery Phone Cases – The Reformed Mess
You’ve been burned one too many times, haven’t you? The carefree college days of taking your naked-ass phone out to the club and coming back with it shattered into a thousand pieces are finally over, and and now that
your parents won’t pay for your replacements anymore you’re slightly older, it’s time to get serious. Maybe it was the time you put a full stiletto through your iPhone 4, or maybe it was the time your phone died and you lost everyone at Coachella, but you are done with the near-death experiences for now. Sure, your case ain’t cute, but it could literally get run over by a truck (you know because it has been) and comes with 3x the charge, meaning you can take as many Insta stories as you want without fear of hitting 1%. Honestly, good for you.
LuMee Case – The Selfie Freak
Your Insta followers recently hit the thousands and you just cannot risk bad lighting at this point in your
hoeism career. We get it. You’re the girl who fills my feed with 10-20 perfectly lit, facetuned selfies daily, and for some reason I just cannot unfollow. Any time you pull out your phone for a pic, 15 randoms show up to hop in it because they know the picture will come out amazing and get a thousand likes. In many ways, this case has become your full-time job. Good luck with your life as a knock-off Kardashian. You’re doing amazing, sweetie.
The Wallet Phone Case – The Mess
Phone, keys, wallet? Yeah, that’s way too many things. You can barely remember to get out of bed in the morning, let alone remember both a phone AND a wallet. Nah. You need to minimize the damage you will inevitably do to your life on any given weekend by consolidating your shit into one easily remembered package. Honestly, if you can find a way to attach that shit to your body, maybe by sewing it into your hair or something, that would probably be best. The upside to this lifestyle is that you have less shit to drag around with you when you’re drunk and tryna be free. The downside is that when you do inevitably lose this, you’ve lost literally your entire life. But that’s also like, fine. You’ve fucked up worse and lived.
Personalized – The Psycho
This one goes out to the girl I saw senior year of college whose phone case was literally a bedazzled picture of her own face. You think I forgot that shit? No fucking way. I’ll never forget it. Sometimes I wake up with a cold sweat in the middle of the night still thinking about the unique set of life events that would lead a person to get a phone case of their own damn face. Wow. I’m actually getting upset thinking about it. Moving on…
Graphic Cases – The One That DGAF
Congratulations, betch! You don’t give a fuck to such a degree that you spent $20 on a paper-thin case that does nothing all because it has a funny/sarcastic/betchy saying on it. Honestly, you’re doing everything right. Either that, or you have no personality and are using the bold statement on your phone case to mask your inability to be bold in your actual life. Either way, we dig your style. And not just because we literally sell these cases. That’s totally not why. Don’t worry about it. But I mean, if you want to buy one…
Wooden/Marble/Whatever – The Real Adult
Okay. You’re classy. We get it. You “have a bank account” and “know your credit score” and shit. Good for you. Aren’t you fucking fancy. Enjoy your investments. You disgust me.
No Phone Case – The Dangerous Renegade
You live on the edge, and it disturbs me. What type of Patrick Bateman-ass rich psycho are you that you can just let your naked phone float around in the world with nothing to protect it? What if you drop it? What if you stand up and forget it is in your lap and it falls on the ground? What if you’re drunk and it falls out of your pocket while you’re in the bathroom and lands in the toilet? THESE THINGS CAN HAPPEN! Your devil-may-care attitude is affecting not only your life, but the life of your precious phone. You know what, that’s it. I’m calling the FBI.
READ: The Best Portable Phone Chargers So You Can Stop Bothering The Bartender