All the Times Computers Screwed Stuff Up for Humans in Movies

Sex TapeColumbia Pictures

The Cloud. It’s the data storage solution of the future. But is it evil? Sure, it’s useful for storing documents and pictures, but what exactly is the Cloud in the first place? Is it dangerous? Am I breathing it in right now? Isn’t it disturbing how little the average person knows about the technologies we use every day? The new Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz film Sex Tape might looks like just another raunchy rom-com, but it’s really a sobering warning about the dangers of computers and technology. Look down. You’re probably reading this on a computer right now. That’s how far they’ve gotten. They’re right under our noses! Filmmakers have been warning us for years about the dangers of computers, and how with just a few mouse clicks, our lives can be ruined forever. Before we all retreat to our luddite caves, let’s take a look at all the ways computers have screwed things up in movies.

Sex Tape
The Technology: 
An iPad/the Cloud
What It Did: 
Synched a couple’s embarrassing sex tape to multiple iPads given out as gifts to all their friends
The couple feels the appropriate amount of embarrassment at having your friends seeing you bump uglies in a crappy tablet video. Also, ridiculous hijinks ensue while they try to get the video deleted. In terms of technology screwing things up, this one isn’t bad at all.

The Technology: Samantha, a sentient operating system
What It Did: Fell head over heels in love with the hapless Theodore Twombly, then broke his heart after the OS race decides to fly away to another plane or universe or something.
Fallout: Mr. Twombly (how is that an actual name?) loved and lost, but at least he became a better person because of it.

Office Space
The Technology:
The Initech computer virus
What It Did:
Office drones Peter, Michael, and Samir, in an attempt to get back at their bosses for years of mistreatment, decide to infect their company’s accounting system with a virus that would steal fractions of pennies over time from Initech. The amount stolen would be so small that no one would notice. Unfortunately, a missing decimal point caused the virus to steal thousands of dollars over just a few days.
Fallout: Before the trio could get into any trouble, Initech is mysteriously (though not that mysteriously) burned to the ground, along with all of the evidence pointing Peter to the crime. The situation resolves itself, but being caught could have meant years of jail time.

American Pie
The Technology:
 Jim Levenstein’s PC
What It Did: 
Jim hooks up a webcam and unwittingly shares his embarrassing sexual encounter with Nadia, a foreign exchange student from Slovakia, with his entire school.
Jim blows it for all of the internet to see and Nadia’s foster parents send her back home, leaving him dateless and sexless for the prom. Happily, he does hook up with Michelle before the end credits roll.

Back to the Future
The Technology: The DeLorean, a car-shaped time machine
What It Did: It sent Marty McFly to the year 1955, where he unwittingly meddles into his parents’ past and almost prevents his own birth.
Fallout: Marty is able to get his parents back together at the end, but has to forever live with the idea that his mother tried to get into his Calvin Kleins. Yuck!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Technology: Arnim Zola, a HYDRA supercomputer
What It Did: Zola helps HYDRA infiltrate the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. and leads the team of scientists that turn Bucky Barnes into the Winter Solder. He then tries to kill Captain America and Black Widow, but the heroes survive in the end.
Fallout: Cap’s best friend, Bucky is turned into a brainwashed HYDRA spy and the terrorist organization nearly takes over the entire world after infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Technology: Joshua the WOPR, a supercomputer at NORAD
What It Did: After hacker wunderkind David Lightman hacks into NORAD and plays a mock game of “Global Thermonuclear War,” Joshua stages a real Soviet nuclear attack to win the “game.” After that fails, Joshua tries to launch the missiles himself, and nearly plunges the world into World War III.
After playing a couple rounds of tic-tac-toe, Joshua learns that nuclear war has no real winner except the cockroaches and settles for a game of chess instead. The day is saved, but the world came dangerously close to ending.

The Technology:
Skynet, a self-aware intelligence system
What It Did:
Skynet, given command of the U.S.’s computerized defense programs, becomes self-aware and starts a nuclear war with Russia, leading to the near genocide of humanity. The intelligence system then sends Terminators to kill what’s left of the population
The initial nuclear attack kills three billion people and locks humanity in a war with machines. Skynet then sends a Terminator into the past to kill John Connor, the leader of the human resistance. This is certainly a far cry from your sex tape getting leaked onto the internet. It’s a slippery slope.