Opinion: Why printers are the bane of society

How are we still, in our advanced and modern society, dealing with the fact that we haven’t mastered home printing?

Opinion: Why printers are the bane of society

One would think that, in the modern, advanced technological society we find ourselves in, home printing would be a simple, straightforward operation. One would also be wrong. Printers have failed to advance alongside every other home-technological feat in the last twenty years, and arguably, it was probably easier to print a standard word document in 2001 than it is today.

Wireless printers are somewhat more of a convenience than their wired siblings, but equally just open up a world of possibilities for things to go wrong. But whether tethered or wireless, neither one seems to offer a solution that allows people to simply do the one thing the machines are designed to do: print. If you aren’t having to fork out a loan for printer ink because your £30 printer requires two £60 cartridges (and refuses to accept non-branded ink – what an absolute scam), you’re battling with paper jams or other hardware issues. And if it isn’t the hardware issues, it’s the never-ending software issues. 

During the pandemic, supply issues meant that companies were unable to produce their extortionate ink cartridges, and so, were forced to release a software update to override the identifying chips used to prevent knock-offs from working. This further proves that the whole industry is a total sham – the option is there, and is available, but companies would rather value profit over customer accessibility.

Even when there is a software issue, it’s near impossible to get to the bottom of what the problem really is. Whilst your desktop is telling you there’s an issue with the paper supply, you’re tearing your hair out knowing that the paper could not be more precisely positioned if you gave it microscopic precision. On top of all that, can someone please explain why on Earth I need a cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridge to print an entirely black and white document? Make it make sense. 

There’s something about printers that just brings out the absolute worst in everyone. I too have fallen victim to this. Every single time I use a printer I am filled with incandescent rage. It consumes me. it makes me want to furiously sprint in a straight line with no destination. It makes me want to smash my face, and printer, into the ground with the power and intensity of Kratos. All logic is abandoned when this putrid machine is in action. The laws of physics no longer apply. Emotional boundaries are crossed. The second I plug it in, local wildlife flees. They know. I’ve genuinely spent a considerable amount of time scouring ebay for a half-decent typewriter to replace the rage machine, and will probably continue to do so every time I’m forced to use one.

It’s probably quicker to screenprint your documents; in the time it takes to order the supplies, install the UV bulb, cover the screen in photo emulsion and expose it, your traditional, untrustworthy inkjet printer would still be configuring its settings and making totally random, threatening noises. Before you know it, you’ve set up a successful and thriving business and forged a career as a screenprinter, while the screen would still read ‘preparing to print…’. You just wanted to print out tickets to a gig.

There is absolutely no excuse for the fact that home printing is so difficult in this day and age. I won’t have any of it. Printers are, simply put, the bane of society. Expensive, hard work, and demands an annoying amount of space and effort. And even after all that, they don’t work most of the time. 


Header Image Credit: George Milton / Pexels


Lucy Evans

Lucy Evans Kickstart

Media Sub-editor at Voice. Sign language enthusiast, frequent gig attendee, cloud enjoyer, artist, and volcano lover. I love bees.

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