When the gramophone was first introduced to the public in the late 1800s, American composer and conductor John Philip Sousa had few good things to say about the new technology. He predicted:
“a marked deterioration in American music and musical taste, an interruption in the musical development of the country, and a host of other injuries to music in its artistic manifestation, by virtue – or rather by vice, – of the multiplication of the various music-producing machines.”
Sousa wasn’t the first or the last person to eye new technological advancements with suspicion. With each era there are usually critics who rush to nay-say whatever current innovation placed before them.
Radio was criticized as an unnecessary distraction, as was the telephone. The television was initially laughed off as unable to compete with radio. Arcade machines and home videogame consoles were derided as passing fads, brain-rotting children’s toys, and are blamed for everything from falling grades to mass shootings to this day.