It is one of the great paradoxes that technology and its great many labour-saving innovations - designed to free us up and give us back our leisure time - is now making us more frantic and time-poor than ever.
A constant stream of notifications.
A constant worry about battery-life.
A need to be part of every story.
A need to know first.
A need for constant consumption.
Recently there have been a barrage of reports around the subject of the mental pressure on kids to keep up with all of their social feeds (https://www.familiesonline.co.uk/local/sutton-coldfield-north-birmingham/in-the-know/snapchat-streaks-the-harmless-fun-causing-stress-for-young-people), and there is a growing feeling that the machines have already taken over.
But this fast-paced digital consumption is creating a counter-culture, in similar ways to the rise of craftism in the face of fast fashion, and the local food movements as a reaction to a world of fast food.
For years now, the term 'digital detox' has been gaining traction, as people decide that disconnecting from the grid every now and again is good for the mind and the body, in-effect completely stemming the flow of fast information and our fast consumption of it.
Giving us a break from the sheer exhaustion of having to stroke our devices all the time.
Nokia relaunched their classic 3310 phone last month, a move that doesn't seem to just lie in a latent nostalgia for a classic bit of kit. Our phone is after all the ultimate in reminders to check-in with the web.
The idea isn't a completely new one. It has its roots in an ideological movement called “appropriate technology,” a term coined by economist and proponent Dr. E.F. Schumacher in his influential book, “Small Is Beautiful.” [Source: 2machines.com]. Sometimes it appears that innovators have lost sight of the need for such appropriateness.
And perhaps this is the immediate opportunity for businesses and brands when it comes to technology.
Not to add to the freneticism that surrounds technology, but to help to dampen it, to really add value by slowing the world down a little at a time, to enable us through more appropriate technology relationships, rather than less.
C.U.L.T final thoughts:
How can you facilitate better more appropriate technology relationships between your customers and your brand?
Are you unnecessarily speeding the world up when people are trying to find the brake?
Is your innovation programme customer-first or company-first?