We have probably never been as obsessed to gadgets the way we are now at any point in the history of humanity. It’s like every other day, some manufacturer is spruiking some microchip enabled item of desire. There are gadgets announced almost every day. And the addiction gets worse with each new trend.
Looking at how gadgets have shifted in the past decade is interesting. Imagine the good old days of the early 2000’s. You were actually at a party when you went to a party. Today? Bodies and minds live is separate realms as soon as we power on our smart devices. Living the moment is becoming hard. We are finding more pleasure re-watching the moments on our gadgets rather than actually living the moments. The gadgets are wasting a lot of our time.
Today’s gadgets steal so much attention and therefore end up stealing much of our time. Most of the gadgets and innovations of the last century focused on helping man kind use as less time doing things as possible. Today, the most celebrated and anticipated gadgets are those that steal so much attention and time. When compared to some of the innovations of old, you’ll see a different story with what’s being put on market today.
Companies like Apple and Xiaomi have consumers lining up for product releases. A lot of excitement has shifted to the time stealing gadgets. Is that really bad thing though? Lets look at some industrial era gadgets that didn’t cause as much excitement as some of today’s gadgets.
Master time savers: The industrial era gadgets
Electric flat-iron: No need to use the charcoal iron that was risky ironing your favorite thread.
Washing machine: No need to hand wash. Just set and go do something else.
Clothes dryer: No need to hang your wet clothes on the line.
Refrigerator / Freezer: No need to go out looking for fresh supplies. Keeps everything fresh for long.
Dishwasher: Less time needed doing dirty dishes.
Most of these were about saving time needed to do activities. These were the good old days. Where saving time was a virtue.
And now the digital era where we are currently living. The era where manufacturers are focusing on attracting attention of the users. Take a look at the sweet hearts of today such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, game consoles, wireless speakers, VR headsets and so much more.
Most of these are high-tech and extreme utility master pieces, but they take more time away than they create. They sink us into a worm-hole of exploration and turn us into “zombies”. Consequently, this reduces our efficiency in other activities and completely making the real world fade away into the back ground.
It has started to make me think about the amount of time we waste away with this new trend of gadgets. Do we own them anymore or they are starting to own us? It’s a perplexing situation. I think the challenge of technology today is about understanding how we use the tools it provides.
Are we using them to create or consume time? Are we creating out put or we are constantly giving them all our input? For me this is a vital question where time is our most important asset. And in order to create something we increasingly need to pay attention to the devices around us and ensure we are in control of them, and it’s not the wrong way around.