Ever have the feeling that technological advances are running amok?
With the iPhone X release now in the news, can too much technology be a bad thing? I think so.
Now, let me assure you I appreciate being able to get information on my smartphone and tablet. I am in awe of all the things I can do with them.
Still, sometimes I think technological advances make life more expensive, tiring, and wasteful. The iPhone “X-ess” is a perfect example of this.
With a cost of $999, the latest iPhone is out of reach for most people in this world. For those lucky enough to get it, they will now have to spend time on learning it. And what happens to all the old iPhones?
It’s not just advanced iPhone and Android technology that’s difficult to keep up with. We see this in other areas too.
Technological Advances in Film Watching
In the old days, you had to go to a theater to watch movies. Then came video-cassettes, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and now streaming. I have gone through all those stages.
Of all those changes, I like streaming the most. It gives you unprecedented access to movies from around the world. But it can also lead to “analysis paralysis” on what to watch.
Other than streaming, the technological advances from video-cassettes to Blu-Rays are annoying for me.
For one, notice that sometimes you can’t skip over opening ads in DVDs and Blu-Rays? Two, now the studios are differentiating content based on whether you buy or rent the DVD/Blu-Ray. And three, the DVDs and Blu-Rays seem to be more delicate than video-cassettes.
Further, if you are a movie buff who buys them, you may have to purchase the same film in its different formats. That can get expensive.
Technological advances in Music Listening
Some of the problems with progress in film watching also apply to music listening. We have gone from vinyl records to cassette tapes to CDs and MP3s and streaming services.
It is great to have thousands of songs on a tiny flash drive or a variety of music streaming from different stations. But I do feel sad for all the musicians who are losing revenue because people don’t buy music albums anymore. I can’t recall the last time I bought an album.
Unfortunately, as your listening hardware deteriorates with age, you must buy new versions of your old music. Or else you have to spend time to change your older music to the new versions. For years now, I have been in the process of transferring my tape collection to MP3s.
Technological Advances and Waste
Apart from all the time and money spent on technological advances, few people think about the consequent waste and danger.
First, even though there are recycling services, a lot of old devices end up in landfills in areas with less regulation. If you think of the earth as one environment, the pollution will eventually affect all of us.
Second, much of the raw material for these advances come from areas where the extraction can lead to bloody conflicts.
Finally, ever wonder what would happen if the brains creating the most amazing technological advances for our entertainment could be diverted to bettering humanity? I do.