13 votes

Gadgets for Life on a Miserable Planet: At the Consumer Electronics Show, the only solution for technology-induced stress is more technology

4 comments

  1. [2]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    Unfortunately it seems like tech companies have Hero syndrome and they've created one hell of a situation for us to resolve. This post also has an article about the same fundamental issue.

    Each time I stopped to talk with another company’s smiling marketing representative about a progress-monitoring yoga mat or a wristband that automatically logs calorie intake and hydration, something went unspoken: For these devices to have any future at all, people have to be pretty miserable. They have to be poorly rested, anxious about what they’re eating, scared for the safety of their aging parents, and alienated from the natural responses of their body to things such as food and physical activity. They need to be stressed out and under pressure at work, not spending as much time as they’d like with family and friends, and unsure if they’re doing the basics of modern human life—walking, sleeping, washing their face—correctly.

    hero syndrome is a phenomenon affecting people who seek heroism or recognition, usually by creating a situation which they can resolve.

    Unfortunately it seems like tech companies have Hero syndrome and they've created one hell of a situation for us to resolve.

    This post also has an article about the same fundamental issue.

    6 votes
    1. gpl
      Link Parent
      This was exactly the highlight of the article for me as well. Absolutely nails the state of affairs, and honestly makes me feel a little self conscious that I have an Apple Watch. Do I really need...

      This was exactly the highlight of the article for me as well. Absolutely nails the state of affairs, and honestly makes me feel a little self conscious that I have an Apple Watch. Do I really need one to tell me I should exercise more? Or to let me know someone has texted?

      Did people feel this way about technology 10 years ago?

      2 votes
  2. [2]
    Micycle_the_Bichael
    (edited )
    Link
    [...] These two quotes pretty much sum up my feelings about tech in recent years. I had a rant about consumerism last night that is still fresh in mind so my points may get muddled a bit but...

    this year, those in attendance mostly proved that they’re still not sure—or maybe just don’t care—what people want from them.

    [...]

    Tech companies, like many for-profit enterprises, aren’t necessarily incentivized to ensure that what they sell is used correctly, or that correct use provides any particular material benefit. They simply need to make a compelling argument to people who can pay, which means identifying and capitalizing on the anxieties of the affluent.

    These two quotes pretty much sum up my feelings about tech in recent years. I had a rant about consumerism last night that is still fresh in mind so my points may get muddled a bit but they'll all still apply to tech I think. I just really can't think of the last time I saw anything consumer-tech wise that actually interested me or seemed like it served a genuine need. Instead I just see endless announcements of homogeneous apps or products that all feed on the same societal-based anxieties that's main goal seems to be (a) Convince people buying a new piece of tech will 'fix their problems' (more likely just mask them) rather than questioning why they put up with being so miserable all the time and (b) Harvest as much data as possible to make way higher profits. It's just exhausting. Every time I read one of these articles I think of the low-tech "cults" (they aren't all cults but a lot of them are cults) in rural areas of the US and think about going and joining one.

    3 votes
    1. elcuello
      Link Parent
      Well said. I feel exactly the same. Like everything else in our capitalist world tech has finally been overrun by profit and nothing else. It's exhausting and disheartening because I was so...

      Well said. I feel exactly the same. Like everything else in our capitalist world tech has finally been overrun by profit and nothing else. It's exhausting and disheartening because I was so thrilled and optimistic about tech 10-15 years ago and the endless possibilities to solve or at least better some of these problems.

      2 votes