I’ve always believed that the technology sold to us by Silicon Valley is push, not pull. In other words, these gadgets are solutions looking for a problem — not the other way around. Like the gadgetry showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show, there’s stuff we don’t need but we’re told we can’t live without.
But this look at the Consumer Electronics Show in The Atlantic has me believing that there may be a market for some of these harebrained widgets. The suggestion is this: The success of future tech markets may be dependent on us being far more miserable than we are now.
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.
Our tools have become distractions for our worldly shortcomings and decomposing relationships. To understand this settle down and study Sherry Turkle who saw all this before anyone saw it coming. When there’s nothing good around us there’s always something better on our phones.
Tell me if you don’t see that every five minutes of every day.