A connected disconnect
Last month, I touched on smart living, where everything is connected so we’re better informed and in control. This month, I’d like to ponder the side effect of being so connected as it seemed a tting topic as we went about producing our annual Apps feature.
In the past, we’ve focused on and wrote in length about the conveniences of an app-enabled world, especially the dawn of concierge and service apps that do everything from transport to grocery shopping.
However, like the stereotypical spoiled rich brats in a Hollywood movie, we are in danger of losing out on practical life skills because we no longer practice them. How many years will it take before the term ‘there’s an app for it’ becomes an everyday excuse for the lack of real world knowledge? But, if we’re following the usual Hollywood script, the spoiled rich kid eventually earns his comeuppance, learns some hard truths and turns a new leaf. So in technology, there is also hope.
The world has suddenly found itself enthralled with Pokémon Go, which has amazingly gotten people out to walk, jog, hike, bike and explore places they’d never have gone otherwise. It has broken down social barriers—I’ve never had so many strangers start genuinely animated conversations with me. People seem more charitable, as players often help others by sharing location information, short cut routes and even catching Pokémon for those visibly struggling. Even families, young and old, are spending more time together. Now, Pokémon Go has its fair share of problems with reckless behavior, trespassing and crowds generally being a nuisance, but I’ve never seen any one app getting so many people out, about and working together. And that’s a start.
Apps, there may be a better future after all. Zachary Chan Editor