This year has certainly seen an explosion of new ‘smart’ devices. From the much overhyped and pitifully supported (by ATT’s crappy network and Apple’s overly controlling attitude) iPhone, to the Droid, to the latest crop of mini-netbooks and iType devices. Unfortunately, one has to wonder if these smart devices make us smarter, or do they in fact actually dumb us down to their level? Sure, it is convenient to be able to surf the web and explore things through our phones and other mini-devices, but how much time do we lose and waste by trying to type out emails and text messages on mini or virtual keyboards? I have seen people spend many minutes composing emails on their smartphones that would have taken mere seconds to compose and send on their computers, yet many people seem to prefer to struggle away in their quest for instant gratification.
Now, I will be the first to admit that there are some incredibly cool and useful applications available on today’s crop of ‘smart’ devices, and I have certainly used many of them on more than one occasion, however I personally hate trying to type on a mini-keyboard, and I much prefer to surf the web on a nice 24″ widescreen monitor, rather than zooming, and scrolling and scrolling and zooming my way through a web page on a mobile browser. And yes, I will admit that sometimes I do ‘need’ to check and respond to an email on the go, but unless it really is super urgent, I will wait until I am at a real computer before I respond, and I have learned to never EVER try to read, much less respond to anything while doing things like driving (or having a conversation with someone – that is just sooo rude!).
There is always a line between convenience and over-dependence. When we stop using our brains because it is easier to rely on our devices, well then that is the day we are just asking for our batteries to die and leave us stranded in the middle of no-where (seriously, if your GPS gets you lost and you can’t just turn around and go back the way you came, you shouldn’t be driving in the first place!)