We all use tools on a daily bases to assist us in the completion of specific tasks. They can be a manual device such as a hammer or stapler. They can be a mechanical device such as a washing machine or food processor. They can be considered a high-tech device such as a computer or ebook reader. Whatever type, it is necessary we pick the right tool for the job.
Last week at a family gathering, my father-in-law and his wife mentioned they were looking to purchase a new smart phone and asked what phone I thought they should buy. As my husband slowly backed away from the conversation, I answered their question with two questions: How will you be using it? and What do you want it to do? I think they were expecting a different answer.
I explained that in my opinion, a smart phone is just another tool we use to assist us in the completion of a specific task. It is important to pick the right tool to meet your needs. Even high-tech tools. This is something I describe as “the rational use of technology”.
My father-in-law and his wife work in real estate. The systems they use are Microsoft based. Their service is with T-Mobile and they would like to stay with this carrier. So based on these basic needs, I suggested they look at an Android or Windows phone. As to which specific piece of hardware, well that all comes down to personal preference. They need to go to T-Mobile and try out a few models to determine which one they like. In addition, I suggested that they speak with their IT department to get recommendations.
New gadgets are introduced on a regular basis. The rate of innovation of computer technology is increasing not linearly but rather exponentially [Moore’s Law]. As a result, a device that is only one year old can seem years out-of-date. It is so easy to get lured in by the next new shinny gadget. So the next time something shinny catches your eye, ask yourself: “Would this be a rational use of technology?”.
“Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.”
R. Buckminster Fuller; 1895-1983; an American engineer, author, inventor, and futurist.