50 Shades of… Technology?

50 shades of Technology

50 shades of Technology

After hearing many of my female friends swoon about the popular book Fifty Shades of Grey, I downloaded the audio book for my wife (because she not much of a reading for enjoyment person).  Last week I had training sessions planned across the state and realized I would be in the car for over 15 hours.  Driving across Central and Western Kansas, my iPad can’t reach the internet so I knew since I wouldn’t be able to stream my Pandora through my car stereo, I needed something to keep me awake.  So I download this popular book on my iPad and listened as I drove around the State.

I am about three-quarters through the story, but wanted to point out some technology details that jumped out and bugged me enough I had to write this post that I think the author missed completely in the story.

Ana the Tech Savvy College Student

Ms. Steele is a 22 year old college student who graduates during the story and begins her search for a new job. Why did Mr. Grey have to buy/loan her a new MacBook?  Doesn’t every 22 year old college student own their own computer of some sort? She admitted she didn’t have one, but she occasionally used Kate’s.  Ms. Steele wants to be a publisher, but wouldn’t you assume she has to do a lot of writing for that career.  I’d think she would have owned a computer.  Heck, she had a job at Clayton’s and a paid off VW Bug, you’d think she could afford one.

Christian also buys Ana a Blackberry in the story.  REALLY, a Blackberry!  Christian Grey has more money that Donald Trump, you would think he could afford an iPhone or Android!  Again, she’s 22 and didn’t have a smartphone in 2011, I doubt it!

The MacBook email system

The MacBook that Christian gives Anastasia is the top of the line, and Ana claims that it is so technologically advanced that she could pilot the space shuttle with it.  If this MacDaddy MacBook is so cool, then why didn’t it have an email program with a “REPLY” button?  It seems every time Mr. Grey and Ms. Steele were emailing each other, they were composing new emails!  The subject line changed almost every time they sent a message!  Wouldn’t it have been easier to hit the “REPLY” button and continue the conversation stream?

When was the last time, you replied to someone’s email and changed the subject line?  I am a GMail user and it will let me change the subject line, but I have to click an extra link to make it happen. I’ve never used this link and didn’t realize it was even there until I looked for it while writing this post.  My only thought is their system must not have that feature or they didn’t know how to use it.

The way the emails they sent turned into a conversation many times, wouldn’t it have been better to use an instant messaging system?

I also noticed, this MacBook is still displaying military time in the emails.  Who doesn’t look at an email sent at 22:43 PST and get so annoyed that you take 60 seconds to change the setting?  It’s not hard Ana, Google it!

Has the author ever used email?

You may also notice that Christian and Ana continue to begin each of their emails with “Dear Mr. Grey” or Dear Ms. Steele,” even after their sexual relationship begins.  When was the last time you put a salutation at the beginning of an email to a person you knew personally much less intimately?

And through the story they continued to end their emails with their full names!  Heck, Christian always ended his emails with Christian Grey, President / CEO, Grey Holdings Enterprises Inc.  Maybe he had an automatic signature setup in his email which is a pretty elaborate feature for an email system that doesn’t have a reply button. 🙂  Is this an appropriate signature to leave at the end of your personal emails to a person you are trying to woo into a relationship?


My wife will tell me the accuracy of the technology isn’t the highlight of the story, but you’d think E.L. James could get her information up to date which would make her readers embed themselves even deeper into the story.  To a technology geek like me, I am enjoying the story, but get annoyed that the author has written this story that takes place in 2011, but is using technology from the 1990’s!

Ok, tell me if I’m being too critical in the comments below!

Written by Heather Gray

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