We can all agree change is desperately needed in Silicon Valley. Plagued by security breaches, data leaks, and dubious privacy policies, the once-celebrated vanguards of tech have found themselves needing to answer to both the public and the government. I won’t pretend to know the cure-all to Big Tech’s maladies, but what I do know is this: If a tech giant like Google is serious about dutifully serving the greater digital community, it must start by offering alternative ways to torture the tiny yellow man in Google Maps.
When Google Maps debuted in 2008, users were awed by its GPS functionality, satellite imagery, and ability to punish the featureless man that lived within by grabbing his skull and whipping him across the tri-state area, his limp body flailing thousands of feet above the earth. But in the years since, innovation on this front has remained disappointingly stagnant. The modern Google Maps user demands options tailored to their preferences, from the ability to dangle the man above a roving pack of starving wild dogs, to launching him across the Bering Strait in an enormous slingshot. It’s disheartening that a pioneering company like Google has failed to deliver anything of the sort.
How can Google make amends in the relationship between itself and the public, when for years it’s been ignoring widespread pleas for a hot, dark metal cage to imprison the man in, or the ability to make him do push-ups until he passes out?
The answer is that Google, and other conglomerates of its ilk, aren’t prepared to accept the responsibilities that come with the power they wield. Corporations like Google would rather wring their hands and parrot the same feel-good bromides than actually invest in worthwhile solutions, like the ability to make the man wear soaking wet low-rise jeans, or a module that sets him on a seemingly never-ending series of perfectly cordial but romantically unfulfilling dates. Even giving him a little mouth so he could say something like ‘what in the—!’ before you tossed him into the bed of an active cement mixer would be a step in the right direction.
Look, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not some computer whiz or app developer. I won’t pretend I know better than the minds behind one of the most forward-thinking companies in the world. But it’s obvious that a reaffirmed commitment to creating exciting new methods to inflict pain upon the yellow man would do wonders for Google’s standing, whether that’s by dressing him in a threadbare burlap sack and parading him around, or making him eat teeth whitening strips until he throws up in the park.
So where do we go from here? How exactly can Silicon Valley rehabilitate its public image? Does the yellow man have bones? What color are they? These are difficult questions to answer, but Google has the resources at its disposal to do it. Here’s to hoping the tech giant stops hemming and hawing and gets down to business—before it’s too late.