Tech Executives Question Our Device Devotion
We all know the term couch potato and most of us have been one ourselves. Well, it's a new era and there is new technology to abuse. This time it's our smart devices, which I think we can all agree that it sometimes feels like they are overtaking our lives. Who hasn't seen someone glued to their iPhone and step into a street of oncoming traffic?
Apparently, executives of technology companies are now speaking out about the problem and they are trying to define some boundaries to help people maintain personal relationships and improve their productivity, health, sleep and mental sanity. The New York Times likened it to the fast food industry coming out and saying fast food is bad for you, so find a way to moderate it.
Impressive, I must say. It's no surprise that high tech companies themselves are raising a flag. I read an article earlier this year about how a surprisingly large portion of Silicon Valley technology executives send their kids to a private school that doesn't allow technology. There have also been companies speaking about banning internal e-mail because it's a time suck and people are more concerned with keeping their inbox empty than collaborating with their peers or finishing a project.
It's like anything else. There are technologies that are brilliant and there are technologies that drive us crazy. In the end, we just need to moderate it all. Ten or 20 years from now, we'll look back and laugh at how our smart technology came to rule over us. We'll find new ways to use technology to make our lives better, and we'll abandon the obessive-compulsive aspect of it in favor of saner lives. For the time being, it'll be interesting to see how the culture slowly changes to get technology usage in check.
What technology can you not live without? And what are you ready to kick to the curb? My tech PR colleagues below had some entertaining takes on what they can and can't live without. Below are the top responses. Very funny to see some technologies made it on both lists…
- My iPhone. I run my life with it.
- DVR + ability to program it from my iPhone.
- GPS/GoogleMaps, although being a guy, I don’t need directions, I just drive around the vicinity of my destination until I happen upon it.
- IM, in any form or fashion, DM, Yahoo, Lync...
- The Internet and Google in particular.
- WiFi streaming/airtime.
- Free email accounts for keeping personal emails out of workplace.
- News alerts services (whether RSS or not).
- Good ol' teleconference services that are easy to use & offer full duplex capability.
- Facebook, which keeps me in touch with friends and family and incorporates the best elements of IM, email, blogging and photo sharing -- all in one place.
- Music via services like Spotify because iTunes and Genius are so 2010.
- My iPhone. I go to bed with it… It’s an issue.
- One I definitely can live without and totally do not get: Foursquare. (Many called out Don Jennings on this one).
- DVR. Never used it, never will.
- Email. There is too much of it and there will never be an end to how much of it there is.
- Google+. Intrigued but still haven’t found a purpose.
- My microwave. I’d rather use the old grill.
- Cable TV. There really is no need for it anymore, with all the content written/recorded online, and there is so much garbage there at this point, that we literally can kick it to the curb. Two screens already threaten to ruin people’s lives and relationships. We could do without the third one.
- Landline phones. iPhones can do it all.
- Portable DVD players. Does anybody even use these anymore?
- Although I want one, could live without an iPad.