Walk down any high street, sit in any fast food restaurant or wait in any airport lounge and one thing will likely become very apparent; we are a people who are utterly connected to our gadgets. Whether used for reading the news, playing games or communicating amongst one another, gadgets such as smartphones and tablets are today a massive part of our lives, but how did we get to this state of affairs? What is behind our utter love for all things technological? Whilst it is indeed true that an overuse of gadgets is a negative thing - using one as a proxy for parenting or conducting all of one's relationships through a smartphone are both pretty unforgivable - whenever we decide to look critically at our connection with technology we need to think deeply. How deeply? Human nature deeply. Homo Sapiens are a species that have risen up to dominate the world over a time span of nearly 200,000 years. In evolutionary, not to mention geological, timescales this is but a flicker, and we've been able to assert ourselves due to one thing only; our ability to create time- and effort-saving technologies. It's no wonder we grasp so rigidly on to our monolithic smartphones - they're the embodiment of our collective success!
Since the advent of computing though, the speed in which we have outfitted ourselves with snazzy gadgets has increased though, and today our love for devices can similarly be explained by the sheer number of features and abilities that they possess. Fifteen years ago if you had told me that we could be able to play casino games online at sites like LadyLucks, spinning the virtual roulette wheel, winning, and having the winnings transferred automatically to a bank account, I'd have laughed! But today we can, and these sorts of experiences are now available to all, not just those that could afford to book a plane ticket to Las Vegas. Applications take this multi-tool-like ability to the next level, and the flashy programmes being tailor-made for mobile devices are at the same time inventing new experiences and abilities whilst making gadgets ever more popular. You can now download an app that explains to you information regarding the stars in the night sky when pointed in to the glittering black, or one that lets you read reviews of restaurants and hotels in cities half way across the world. With gadgets, we are able to understand the world around us more than we ever could, and our collective want to constantly know and find out more drives development ever further.
Will we ever relinquish our gadgets? Or will the devices themselves become integrated with our physical selves? Share your thoughts and ruminations in the comments section below!
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