We think of technological progress as moving us in a single, forward direction, but that's not always the case. Sometimes an invention comes along that not only doesn't improve things, it makes them just a little bit worse.
Tell us in the comments what inventions represent the worst backwards stumbles in our technological advancement, when it showed up, and what it is about it that makes it so difficult to stomach.
Image: Answering machine, bringer of voicemails, scourge of the modern world. / Artistan, SHUTTERSTOCK.