Approaching technology

Sometimes I’m tempted to pick Facebook up again, and I continually weigh the pros and cons. There are plenty of reasons why Facebook is good. There’s one big con, however: The insidious way it sucks up time.

I used to check my wall while watching T.V., while on my iPhone, while waiting in line at the pharmacy… Sometimes I’d click around on the different things people posted and half an hour would be gone.

Once I quit Facebook, I wrote a lot more and read a lot more (books, that is). A level of productivity materialized I hadn’t known the year I was on FB.

Now I approach technology a lot more skeptically. (Like the Amish, I guess.) Instead of thinking about how cool a new site might be to visit, or how fun a new gadget might be to own, I think about what I’m giving up to invest time in the next new thing.

My goal: never pick up a new gadget unless it simplifies my life. And hopefully, gadget makers will be striving for simplicity within the product itself.

Interestingly, Apple’s priorities are becoming the industry’s priorities. It seems that companies making electronics–whether they are vacuums, hand dryers, or thermostats–are striving for simplicity, beauty, and excellence. This wasn’t always the case. Remember the way cellphones appeared before Apple introduced the iPhone? All those sad devices looked the same. Now they all look like iPhones.

By the way, have you seen this new thermostat? Here’s the trailer. (Yes, it has a trailer.)

It’s designed by a former Apple employee. The way things are going, however, you don’t have to be a former Apple employee to appreciate striving for perfection.

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