Collaboration

IT and Hollywood: The reality gap

In the movies, all you need is access to the Internet to change someone's bank account or to launch nuclear missiles. We know it's all for effect, but how much is too much?

In the movies, all you need is access to the Internet to change someone's bank account or to launch nuclear missiles. We know it's all for effect, but how much is too much?

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

I love movies. I love television. But if you knew only of the world what you saw in those two media, you'd be one delusional person.

For example, going by movie and TV alone, here's what you would think you knew about the medical profession: Nobody ever comes into the ER with anything less than a rare condition brought on by the bite of a insect that is one of only six left on the planet. Writers write this way because an hour-long episode about a tetanus shot wouldn't be worth watching.

And TV's view of journalism is seriously flawed because it implies that newspaper reporters are always running around chasing down important stories that involve some secret government conspiracy. When in reality, most reporters make a living writing obituary copy or pieces about the local strawberry festival.

Yeah, I know they have to do these things to make movies exciting. But there's nothing more aggravating than when a movie takes liberty with something you do for a living.

Let's take technology, for instance. Why are the people who crack program codes always furiously typing and never having to wait for a screen to load? Why do words on the screen like IM messages or Access Denied messages always appear in 84-point type?

And what's with the preponderance of voice-activated technology? Do you know of many actual offices that make use of it on a regular basis?

And, according to Hollywood, if you can access the Internet, you can access information on anyone's desktop, look up that person's criminal record, and edit your own dental records.

So do any particular pet peeves come to your mind of Hollywood taking liberties in regard to technology? Let's hear 'em!

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

Editor's Picks