I recall generations before me commenting about the gadgetry in cars in the 80’s and 90’s, preferring vehicles with less toys. They would say, “More electronic gadgets means more to go wrong.” This rings truer today than ever. With the current app craze, I often think we should step back — both for mental clarity, and time efficiency. I was once enthused by it all before apps came along. I was always called upon by the family to hook up the home entertainment system or troubleshoot the family computer. And now, as a web designer and headshot photographer, gadgets and tech are something I’m still handy with. These days, though, I’m more of a stripped down guy. Less is better. I like a few useful and reliable apps, but I really don’t pay much attention to a lot of app trends. Why? More to go wrong. There’s also less security and privacy, more to keep track of, more memory hogging, and too much time away from the life around us. Things regularly malfunction, and I constantly have to switch, update, or re-install software, while learning new software and actually using it – and forget trying to get on with my day. And this is only with the software and apps I need. I also hear others griping about the same issue, regardless of their choice of apps, OS, software, etc. We live in a world where every device has a whole community of software running on-board with constant updates, variables, and glitches. Don’t get me wrong, our new age has seen marvelous innovation and really great things are being done, but how does one keep from losing themselves in the chaos?
Eliminate the Fat
I suggest a pragmatic approach. Only use what’s useful and reliable, and know your tools well. Be selective of who’s in your house. I like a lean startup on my devices, and if I don’t use an app, it’s gone. Useless delays, I do not need. And by the way — this goes for all useless apps, plugins, and extensions, whether it’s a mobile device, a WordPress site, or desktop OS. Same principles, different jargon.
Fixing What Isn’t Broken
So what do you think? Have we become too gadgetized AND connected to make a balanced life for ourselves? Are the apps and software we’re piling on really making things better or solving a problem we couldn’t solve before? What do we expect the long-term result of all this to be? Enough app talk for me — I’m going outside to play.