Unless you’ve printed this out (which is doubtful), you’ll be reading this on an electronic device. We are, and this is probably not a surprise, using smartphones and other technology more than ever.
Now, in a poll of 2,000 adults, it has been found that 65% of respondents believe they’re overexposed to technology. Some 38% worry they rely on gadgets too much.
It comes at a time when we’re given so much choice in activities on our smartphone. If you need to get the weekly shop, order a pizza, arrange a courier, buy a new coat, record or watch a TV show, listen to the radio, find a builder or book a car repair – it can all be done via your phone and it’s the default go-to device whenever you need anything. We have, without doubt, become hugely reliant on these devices. Little questions that pop up in coversations, such as, “What was that restaurant we went to last year?” or “What is the capital of Spain?” = they can all be answered in seconds with your smartphone and we just expect that help and assistance to be there.
There is, of course, the gaming element too. If I pick up a phone of a friend or relative, I’ll either find it crammed full of social media apps or games. Social media alone can keep you occupied for hours on end – especially with the range of apps now available. I know people who have SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, spending a large chunk of their day on these apps – updating them in order not to “miss out”. In addition, there’s a growing popularity in time-killing and addictive games. It’s now not uncommon to see people playing online casino on mobile phones testing their luck and knowledge against a huge range of arcade, sports, horse-racing, football or live in-play betting. Then there’s the hugely slick racing games like Real Racing 3 bringing PS4 and Xbox-style graphics to your bus ride home. Even relatively “simple-looking” games such as Sand Balls are sucking people in – hooking them into a deceptively easy yet ultimately challenging and addictive mobile game, continually bringing you back so that you have “just one more go”
Behavioural psychologist, Honey Langcaster-James, worked on the survey and stated..
Our world is becoming increasingly digitally connected and entrenched in technology. Yet this new research suggests that smart gadgets and appliances may have become too smart for comfort. Psychologically speaking, the more complicated a machine is for us to interact with, the bigger the cognitive load it places upon us.
The study also found that the most unused features on today’s modern gadgets are voice control. It also highlighted the fact that people tend to take hundreds of digital photos but never actually print anything tangible.
It seems that, without these advances in technology, we would be worried about how to get through the day. Even on holiday, we’re now replacing the traditional maps and cameras with a smartphone. This gives us the temptation to just quickly check those messages, or try and move through a couple more levels on our favourite game… perhaps even update Instagram with a nice picture whilst on the beach.
There’s an expectation for that advanced technology to just “be there” when we need them, which is increasing our reliance on these tech products.