THE worst fears of those of us who don’t trust computers are coming true. I have observed in the past that the human race may very well become subservient to machines, possibly NNOV, short for Not Needed On Voyage, a naval term which means what it says: don’t bother tagging along pal, you are extraneous baggage. A nightmare scenario played out in the Terminator movies, with our world ruled by computer-driven replicants.

They’re already here. No kidding.

Try and speak to a human at the end of a service department phone.

No chance. You will get Metal Mickey or Metal Maureen telling you to press numbers, then forcing you to listen to taped music before abandoning you to suffer a temperfueled, cardiac arrest, in cyberspace. We’ve all been there.

Now computers have made it possible to drive a large hole in super injunctions, which protect the rich and famous from tabloids exposing their philandering with “escorts”, or other available ladies.

These hugely expensive gagging orders prevent the adultery of mostly male celebrities appearing in print, or being reported on TV and radio. However, what they cannot do is silence the endless cyber-babble on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

This must be deeply worrying for celebrities, up to their armpits in sleaze, which may seem like a dollop of harmless fun to Jack the Lads in the dressing room, gym, fitness centre, wine bar, but grounds for war to the little woman back home. These “celebs” may, with the help of a costly legal firm, keep their out of hours recreational activities from the media mainstream, but, in the background, chattering machines are spilling the beans. Big time.

The trouble is, every action by Homo sapiens has a downside, especially if unsupervised.

Recently Jemima Khan was said to be having an affair with Jeremy Clarkson, which could only have been believed by the terminally daft, and which Ms Khan swiftly dismissed as twaddle. However, the equally delightful BBC sports presenter Gaby Logan was horrified to learn she had been “twittered” as an adulterer, when she is happily, and very securely, married.

So social network sites, while feared by the guilty, can be deeply distressing for the innocent who may have their name and reputation brought into question by someone posting a self-generated rumour or allegation. And we have had impressionable youngsters driven to despair, suicide in some cases, by verbal attacks on Facebook and via cell phones by a breed known as network bullies.

Computers a massive benefit for mankind? Not from where I am sitting mate. And I’ve done nowt to be tweeted about, well, not in the past 40-odd years.