Men's Health (UK) - - Editor’s Letter - TOBY WISE­MAN BSME ED­I­TOR OF THE YEAR

Do you re­mem­ber a time be­fore tech was cool? Al­low me to jog your mem­ory. Re­cently, a col­league cir­cu­lated a pop­u­lar Youtube video en­ti­tled “Win­dows 95 Launch was LIT!!!” While I won’t em­bar­rass my chil­dren by in­dulging in mil­len­nial speak, it was quite some­thing to be­hold. In­deed, I’d say “bat­shit” just about cov­ers it.

For the unini­ti­ated, the 15-sec­ond clip cap­tures the high­light of a mid-nineties press con­fer­ence given to her­ald the ar­rival of Mi­crosoft’s new op­er­at­ing sys­tem. It pretty much con­sists of half a dozen com­puter science nerds on a bare stage, danc­ing, gam­bolling and punch­ing the air in a man­ner that sug­gests their Star­bucks might have been spiked with ke­tamine. Bill Gates, then the world’s rich­est man, claps along to the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” like a clumsy im­pos­tor at a five-year-old’s birth­day party. Mean­while, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent Steve Ballmer ap­pears to have lost con­trol of his limbs as the re­sult of some kind of berserk fit. This was a time when Oasis and Blur were bat­tling it out for num­ber one and David Beck­ham was pre­par­ing for his first full sea­son as a Manch­ester United first-teamer. Tech­nol­ogy was the an­tithe­sis of hip.

Fast-for­ward 23 years and this sce­nario couldn’t be fur­ther from the truth. While the launch of the next iphone prob­a­bly won’t be ac­com­pa­nied by a tele­vised IT depart­ment rave, it will un­doubt­edly be front-page news across the world. Where once it was cul­ture – mu­sic, film, style – that dic­tated what was cool, now it is the means by which cul­ture is cre­ated, fil­tered and dis­sem­i­nated that has the ca­chet. Al­go­rithms gov­ern what we see, how we think and who trends. The in­ter­net has up­ended once dy­namic in­dus­tries and rad­i­cally trans­formed oth­ers. Many car brands and fash­ion re­tail­ers now see them­selves as tech com­pa­nies, first and fore­most.

Per­haps more cru­cially, tech­nol­ogy is now shap­ing our well­be­ing. It gov­erns the way we train, the way we ad­min­is­ter self-care, the way we eat, work, in­ter­act, learn, emote and even have sex. And it is no longer just the gad­gets that get up­graded: a whole in­dus­try has sprung up around up­grad­ing you. The lat­est in­no­va­tions pur­port to make us fit­ter, hap­pier and more pro­duc­tive. Many of them are fea­tured here, in our inau­gu­ral Tech Is­sue. Right now, there is no more rel­e­vant topic in health.

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