Computers Are Everywhere!


Long before the Y2K panic or today’s panic over the internet replacing television, there was the happy talk of “Computer Critters,” a series of PSAs that ABC ran in the mid-1980s during their Saturday morning cartoon block. The message is that everything we use has a computer, computers do everything, that they’re going to take over our lives, and that this is a good thing. As a child, I appreciated the commercial because I myself was increasingly dependent on a computer (I wrote well on the word processor, but not so well by hand) and this crocodile person reassured me that it was okay. But even at the time, I thought there was something a little sinister about being so upbeat about the whole thing.

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Computers Are Everywhere!

  1. The word ‘sinister’ bothers me.

    Why are western countries so afraid of new tech?

    People opposed the advent of the car, the radio, the phone…and certainly computers and robots…weird.

    • New technologies are necessary, but they’re also – obviously – disrupting. We’re better off now because of all these things, but the disruption can be disturbing and unsettling.

      • Part of the point of that ad was to reassure kids (and “mothers too!”)
        that computers shouldn’t be unsettling, that they’re already a part of
        everyday life and that the coming computer revolution won’t be too

        • That assumes people worry about such things….as though we need sugar-coating on new ideas.

      • I’ve never seen new tech as ‘disrupting, disturbing or unsettling’.

        I see it as advancing towards a better life.

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