Nice-to-haves are ruining your life

I had about four hours of highway driving yesterday. Even though I probably could’ve navigated it on my own, I opted to use Apple Maps, which is integrated with my car’s Apple CarPlay “infotainment center.” It was nice. It told me how many miles I had remaining and my expected time of arrival. But it wasn’t a life changer.With all that time to kill and not a lot to keep me occupied, I started thinking about how most new technologies marketed directly or indirectly as being life changing wind up changing our lives for the worse.Email. Great on it’s own, but now that we all have 24-hour mobile access it means we’re expected to be available and responsive 24/7. At a minimum it’s a disruption with the potential to turn a nice relaxing Saturday afternoon into a stressful workday.Texting. Nice way to keep in touch with friends, schedule meet ups, etc. But it comes with the pressure of always having to be responsive. I don’t know about you, but I feel guilty when I can’t respond to a text within 10-15 minutes.Social Media. It was so fun to catch up with High School buddies… but turns out it’s making people mentally ill and ruining our democracy.Streaming Video. What’s the biggest struggle parents have with technology?Limiting screen time. What’s the benefit?  I don’t know… it keeps the kids quiet?But limiting screen time has been proven to be important for mental health and development. Kids play video games while watching YouTube videos of other kids playing video games. For real. This is a standard behavior.I’m no Luddite. I believe internet and mobile technologies offer tremendous opportunities for positive life and world change. We need to consider when the nice-to-have features are actually worse for us. This is important work. The most features and newest technologies don’t need to win. We don’t need to hand over quality of life for nice-to-haves.Being hyper-connected to people should serve PEOPLE’s best interests.  Being informed is only a benefit if the information is good.So while that maps experience I had yesterday was nice, the only way I can envision it changing my life would be for the worse. The consequences of losing my privacy perhaps?  I don’t know, I only know that trusting these mega technology corps has proven time and again to be bad for us. Life changing indeed.

Nice-to-haves are ruining your life

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I had about four hours of highway driving yesterday. Even though I probably could’ve navigated it on my own, I opted to use Apple Maps, which is integrated with my car’s Apple CarPlay “infotainment center.” It was nice. It told me how many miles I had remaining and my expected time of arrival. But it wasn’t a life changer.

With all that time to kill and not a lot to keep me occupied, I started thinking about how most new technologies marketed directly or indirectly as being life changing wind up changing our lives for the worse.

Email. Great on it’s own, but now that we all have 24-hour mobile access it means we’re expected to be available and responsive 24/7. At a minimum it’s a disruption with the potential to turn a nice relaxing Saturday afternoon into a stressful workday.

Texting. Nice way to keep in touch with friends, schedule meet ups, etc. But it comes with the pressure of always having to be responsive. I don’t know about you, but I feel guilty when I can’t respond to a text within 10-15 minutes.

Social Media. It was so fun to catch up with High School buddies… but turns out it’s making people mentally ill and ruining our democracy.

Streaming Video. What’s the biggest struggle parents have with technology?Limiting screen time. What’s the benefit?  I don’t know… it keeps the kids quiet?But limiting screen time has been proven to be important for mental health and development. Kids play video games while watching YouTube videos of other kids playing video games. For real. This is a standard behavior.

I’m no Luddite. I believe internet and mobile technologies offer tremendous opportunities for positive life and world change. We need to consider when the nice-to-have features are actually worse for us. This is important work. The most features and newest technologies don’t need to win. We don’t need to hand over quality of life for nice-to-haves.

Being hyper-connected to people should serve PEOPLE’s best interests.  

Being informed is only a benefit if the information is good.

So while that maps experience I had yesterday was nice, the only way I can envision it changing my life would be for the worse. The consequences of losing my privacy perhaps?  I don’t know, I only know that trusting these mega technology corps has proven time and again to be bad for us. Life changing indeed.