I usually rattle on about research, or Millennials, but I thought I’d write about the light-hearted subject of time this evening ;-) As a fallout from the Mayan Prophesy I’ve seen quite a few articles trying to make sense of where we are in history.
“We’ve gone from being a society speculating about the future to actually being in the future”, so says Rushkoff. “The Millennium came and we suddenly realised we were in the future. Maybe that’s what the Mayans were indicating”.
At the end of last year, Cloud Atlas was released. It’s central theme of reincarnation plays with the concept of time as well. It’s really good, as good as the book! So maybe we are there…. if so, technology plays a primary role in making us feel we are in the future, but it also makes us feel we need to keep up. Or we risk being in the past.
We are living in an age that is very now focussed. We are hungry for information and information has become our currency. On Twitter there are two approaches to getting followed: “either, ‘Check us out! We’re WACKY’; or, ‘Check us out! We knew about that interesting thing that those other people did BEFORE YOU”. It feels like a race, but it really shouldn’t be.
We tend not to read things in full any more…I’d be surprised if you have got this far…but if so, read on…. It’s all about skimming what you can lay your hands on to increase your knowledge. The thing with technology is that it advances soooo quickly that unless you are a techie geek the inevitable outcome is that we will simply ignore it.
Did you know that most people who use a Smartphone will use just 20% of the functionality? - I just made that up, but I bet it’s not far off.
My point is this. I think we have enough technology already, but we don’t explore how it can enhance our lives. If we really are in the future and focussed on the now, we should slow down a little and take more time to consider how to use it to improve our experiences today.
For example: If you didn’t know the BBM story… BBM was an app that Blackberry had in it’s handsets back in 2008 and some clever kid actually took the time to explore it, though it was cool, and started to BBM his mates. It took hold and Blackberry became a youth brand virtually overnight, but not because they spotted how BBM could enhance our lives.
The manufacturers of Smart TV’s are marching on, creating features that people play around with for a while, but viewers soon revert to using it as a passive screen. I know that for sure because we’ve just finished some work on that subject. It would be wiser to slow down on the developments and communicate to people how to use the functionality they already have.