Technology has made our lives better in many ways. It’s helped people communicate better, handle tasks faster and stay safer. Yet, at the same time, the digital world seems to have created more annoyances than ever before. Here are some of my biggies.
Technology breaks far too often.
Hardly a day goes by without some system, device or app disintegrating. Files go MIA, software doesn’t uninstall correctly or a phone gets glitchy. Currently, my email is a complete disaster: Messages are disappearing for no explicable reason. And my iPhone battery case goes from 30 percent to zero instantly. Then I plug it in, and it suddenly displays 30 percent again.
Problems are too difficult to diagnose and fix.
The fact that things break isn’t even the worst of it. The fact that every problem leads to a long string of tech support messages or calls that can take days to resolve is maddening. Vendors point fingers at one another, reps frequently can’t think beyond scripts, and some companies just don’t bother to respond. Meanwhile, you’re stuck without a critical tool you need right now.
Some software vendors are deaf, dumb and blind.
Too many vendors don’t understand their customers and how people use their software. For example, Evernote is an amazing application that excels for project management. But the simplest features—such as color-coding folders or setting due dates for folders or tasks—simply don’t exist. Coding these features would probably take only a couple of hours, but instead, the firm adds seemingly esoteric features. I realize you can’t be everything to everybody, but c’mon!
Tech often fuels stupidity and nastiness.
It seems as though the internet is overflowing with insane conspiracy theories, fake news stories, urban legends and idiotic ideas. Worse, this digital garbage seems to be increasing exponentially as a result of social media. Online bigotry, misogyny and meanness are now epidemic. I have no idea what fuels this type of behavior, but it’s clear that the lowest common dominator is the new normal. Really, this is progress?
We’re not gaining time; we’re losing it.
You probably believe that today’s devices and apps are huge time-savers. That’s debatable. Yes, they can do some incredibly cool things. But automating everything has led to people becoming more impatient and in a bigger hurry. We also spend more and more time buying, managing and fixing devices; tweaking apps; and fiddling with settings. It seems as though we now have less time than ever, and we’re all working more hours.