I want my life to be simpler. I’ve read stories about Albert Einstein keeping a wardrobe of the same outfits, so it gave him one less thing to think about in the mornings.
Technology has the ability to make our lives simpler. It is usually with that intention that it is even created in the first place. But as we introduce new tech into our lives, it often has the opposite effect as well. Let me give you two examples…
We now have access to cameras in our hands 24/7 and no longer need to develop the images. Back in the day we would be so specific about what we shot.
I remember taking a trip to the UK with an old camera and some black and white spools. You better believe I was selective about what I shot, because I’d be spending my (already-established-as-precious) time developing them! So when it used to be enough to have a few photo albums sitting in a cupboard at home, and a trip down memory lane was as simple as dusting them off and sitting around a table laughing about the good old days.
I now have more photos on my phone in one afternoon with my kids, than my parents have of my entire childhood!
So while tech has made it so much easier to take photos, it has complicated our lives by us having to sift through thousands of them when reminiscing.
But yet again tech flies in to save the day! Google photos enables us to save them all in the cloud. So in the event of a fire, we don’t need to worry about granny running back in to rescue the photo albums (second only to the cat of course). We know they’re safe and always accessible. The Ai search functionality is incredible, helping us find the memories we’re looking for, again saving us time.
When I grew up we had a choice of three tv channels (yes, I’m dinosaur old) and were held to the mercy of whatever was on right then. The choice was simple. Watch it or don’t.
A Friday night consisted of visiting the video store and hoping that latest release you’d been dying to see was available for rent that night. Otherwise, it would involve a brief walk around the shop and selecting something else.
I would then have to avoid that video store for months because I had forgotten to return it and probably racked up a massive ‘overdue’ bill (but that’s a saga for another day).
So streaming services step in and give me all the access I need with no late return issues. But now I spend more time sifting through pages of Netflix releases than I do actually watching them! I’m spoilt for choice, and because of it, I struggle to choose something. My life is now simpler and more complex at the same time.
Necessity is the mother of invention
So we seem to be in a never-ending loop of simplicity and complexity. As something is simplified, it often brings with it another layer of complication. And in our pursuit of convenience and accessibility, we’ll find yet another solution to simplify it once again.
Complexity vs simplicity: to infinity and beyond.
I suppose my point to all of this is this: technology shouldn’t be adopted just for the sake of it. It should serve you and make your life easier. Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean it’s for you. Keep it simple stupid.