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Smart Apps, New Addictions






I currently spend most of my App time on the smart phone with the same few things. Diary schedule, Safari, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram. 

It is reported that 80 pc of users' mobile time is spent on just three Apps - Facebook, WhatsApp and Chrome. Hmmn, what about WeChat?

A hundred million Uber sourced rides were chalked up in 2014 alone. Not only is the conventional taxicab sector threatened, but the concentration of the younger generation in crowded city centres also points to lowering vehicle ownership rates. Why buy the cow when you milk it only when you occasionally need it?

Usage of internet around the world has surprisingly flattened, with annual growth rates at nine per cent. Is there more hope and promise of growth in non-OECD nations where however the penetration of networks remains low and the cost to access the digital space remains high?

High potential is now focused on portable equipment, where you can virtually manage your digital and real world without going home or to a base business office, which allows you to be in touch from anywhere and which is where sellers and buyers meet. Will it be the tool for the next major digital disruption beyond the internet?  Or is it doomed to be the next passe thing?

Looks like we not only made the landline telephone, tablets and computer desktop eventually redundant, we no longer go to work in a fixed venue, we rely less on being physically present and we sacrifice more of our privacy and data to a force external to and beyond our control.  By being contactable wherever we are, we can lose a significant sense and balance of psychological refuge and security. 

We can literally arrange our regime and lives from a hand held device which eventually may not require physical input. We may lose our sense of physical touch and communicate more in other ways.   We are inviting more vibes of being more impersonal in our interactions with the outside world. Do you reckon you spend more time physically with your smart phone than with your most beloved?

We continue to expect and have higher instances of instantaneous response and execution. Our minds begin to be wired more in processes of bytes and numbers.   We question the need to commute when cyberspace allows us to be rewarded and reciprocated without making much physical movement. We no longer require a briefcase, wallet or diary and we can really go anywhere without keys.

Hey we may even no longer need Uber rides.  Vehicles will use artificial intelligence and automation to self drive. There shall be no need for drivers licenses and personal identity will be integrated with cyberspace code technology.   Machines and equipment talk more to each other and decide without involving us.

Smart phones allow powerful analytics about our individual selves, enabling others to know more about us than ourselves.  They may also inevitably contribute to the degradation of social interaction skills, when things in daily living can be attained without actually speaking to another human being.  The telephone speaking feature of the so called phone may be superseded, unless it is just speaking to software or a robot, like already seen in helplines.

We shall sink deeper in dependency on a few dominating Apps for almost all aspects of an ordinary life - food preparation or delivery, transport, work, trading, shopping, banking, dating, image recording, communicating, meeting up virtually, educating or training, managing our health, being entertained, taking part in political processes, etc. Or will we?

There must be still a dimension for each of us to retain of what it means to be human and to have that difference in personal creativity.  Somehow, some way, I hope.  Perhaps the personal time of individuals so freed up (provided they are not gaming, gambling or social media connecting otherwise) can mean  more intimate relationship building with Nature, the outdoors, the inner soul and people who really matter to them.

Horse drawn carriages were replaced by railroad trains and automobiles.   The next phase of technological change is much more sophisticated than these historical developments.  Millions are providing content voluntarily to be utilised by technology connectors for profit, and these connectors are the new emerging class of middlemen.

In human history, much advantage has been earned and gained by those smart enough to place themselves between a need and a supplier.   The middleman need not grow the produce, create the artistic output or do the work  - they just build, use and maintain a cyberspace vehicle.  They follow the tradition of bankers, importers and exporters, wholesalers and auctioneers in the past and currently for any worthwhile activity and endeavour in the pursuit of big time profit.

A typical Saturday morning will no longer mean doing the rounds, for example, with newsagents, cafes, school playing fields, petrol stations and the markets.  

An effective broker you choose will streamline your stated needs and get them done and delivered for you who see yourself as hipster, parent and previously busy person.  

When you wake up for the day, your groceries are already delivered to your door,  you know the news highlights from cyberspace even before you tune your tv and radio (hey, Daddy, what are those?).   Your coffee may just already have been made on the dot like clockwork and no humans were involved in preparing your cuppa.  Do we really learn or retain the general skills of living, or continue to rely more on specialists - and perhaps rely more on the vast source of content in cyberspace, whether they can be trusted or not.

Brokers are already acting on your behalf when you buy food, insurance, properties and vehicles.   These individuals are more smart than smart phones.  They instinctively know products and produce change and they go with the flow before any body else.  These brokers do not just anticipate your apparently real needs but also create requirements you think you must have, stirred on by all types of media, commercial, social and possibly manipulative.


One night, when the whole human universe is comfy and snuggled into this vast dependency, there is likely to be a crash.   What humans create is often subverted, misused and held for ransom.  Watch this space.



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