As a rule, we’ve been able to miniaturize our technological devices as we find a way to cram more components onto integrated circuits. From the 30 ton, 1800 square foot ENIAC of 1946, to the 4.5 ounce iPhone 6 of 2015, we’ve scaled down while powering up. Now that we’ve gotten devices to the size where they’ll fit comfortably in our hand, manufacturers and marketers have had to figure out ways to keep selling us these devices. Shouldn’t there be one end all, be all device that would take care of every computing need?
Not so much as you’d think. Just like most other things in our life, our different devices are best suited for different purposes in our life. You wouldn’t carry a desktop computer on a back country hike in the Rockies (think of the battery you’d have to pack!), but you might carry a smart phone. Likewise, you probably aren’t going to cram that 20-page report the night before it’s due using the swipe-to-type methodology of your iPad. A desktop makes more sense. What are you going to do?
If you’re like me, you may have the trinity of common technological devices: smart phone, tablet, and desktop computer. I use all three every day. The phone is for texting, and occasionally talking to someone, quick lookups and anything else where I need a source of information I can carry in my coat pocket. My tablet is mostly for reading. I like the size, being able to read in the dark, and it’s quiet when I turn the page. The desktop is my go-to when I need screen space, such as editing photos, watching videos (though the other two suffice for that purpose at times), or playing games. They all have their purposes.
So what is right for you? How connected do you need to be? Sometimes we feel obligated to stay connected because we are so connected. We can’t put the devices down because there is an expectation that we’ll be available through one method or another. You might think that as a society, all of this communication would bring us together, but watch out; multiple frivolous interactions can devalue genuine interaction when feeling and intent is required. Think before you push send on that Twitter feed or Facebook post.
The point: yes, there is one. With all of the computing power you hold in your hand, knowing that an iPhone 6 could have (theoretically) guided 120 million Apollo rockets at once, what are you going to do with it? Meaningful interactions or more cat .gifs? With you literally holding the power of the world in your hand, you’ve got a choice.
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