How do you know when a piece of technology has reached the point of being too much?
Until now, you might think that there’s no limit to how much technology humans can handle. However, as more and more features are being packed into smaller devices, that may not be the case for long.
There is no clear consensus on how much technology is enough, or when it should be more prevalent. A Google search yields a wide range of opinions from all sides of the issue.
As information about new technologies becomes more readily available, it’s become clear that today’s consumers are not immune to the phenomenon known as “peak tech.”
This idea refers to a point in time when an abundance of potentially beneficial technologies has been introduced to the market simultaneously.
Whether you own a smartphone or have access to Wi-Fi on a regular basis, there’s no denying that we live in an age overflowing with digital devices and services. Many people around the world even keep tabs on their fitness and well-being with wearable devices like smartwatches or activity trackers.
What is “Too Much” Technology?
The easiest way to determine when technology has become too much is to ask yourself three questions:
- Does this technology add value to my life?
- Is it practical?
- Is it necessary?
If you find yourself answering “no” to any of these questions, then you’re likely dealing with too much technology.
When it comes to technology, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. A device or service might seem useful in the moment, but ask yourself if it’s worth the time, money, or effort you have to put into it.
If you feel like you’re spending more than you’re gaining, then that’s a sign that you need to re-think your approach.
Why is Technology Becoming Overloaded?
As more and more companies and brands strive to stay relevant in a competitive marketplace, some may overdo it with the amount of technology they employ in their product or service offerings.
Some industries, like the automobile sector, are even experiencing a paradigm shift away from human drivers and toward self-driving cars. Because these automotive technologies are still in their early stages of development and testing, it’s easy to see how things could quickly spin out of control.
One reason that technology is becoming overloaded is that companies are trying to be everything to everyone. A single product might come packed with a dozen or more different features that are intended to attract a wide range of customers. While this strategy may help the company increase its sales, it also results in products that have too many bells and whistles.
Another reason that technology is becoming overloaded is that companies are constantly trying to keep up with the latest advancements in digital technology. This means that companies are always trying to get the jump on their competitors by releasing new and improved versions of their products with newer and more advanced features.
Bad User Experience
When you use too much technology, the experience can be overstimulating and confusing for your customers. This can lead to them not using your product or service as often, or at all.
You might think that the more features your product or service boasts, the better, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, too much information and functionality can backfire and lead to customer frustration.
For example: Imagine walking into a grocery store and having to scan multiple barcodes with your smartphone just to make a single purchase.
While this may seem efficient, it’s ultimately likely to cause more headaches than it’s worth. Let’s say you’re looking to buy a new pair of running shoes. You visit your local sports shop and find a pair that you like, but you can’t decide between two different models.
One pair has a fancy digital monitoring system built into the heel, while the other pair has a more basic insole and footbed. Which pair of shoes do you choose?
If the shop owner has to explain the more advanced model to you, and you still can’t decide between the two options, you may be dealing with too much technology.
Confusing User Experience
Another potential negative side effect of using too much technology is that it can confuse your customers and make them less interested in your brand or products.
This happens when you try to cram too many features into a single product, and it starts to get out of hand. A product with too many features can be difficult to comprehend and very confusing for customers.
Imagine that you work in the air travel industry, and your company has built a new app that allows passengers to book flights and access their boarding passes on their smartphones. Sounds convenient, right? However, the app also offers real-time seat tracking, live weather updates, and a virtual airline boarding pass. That’s just too much. The app may be jam-packed with useful features, but that doesn’t mean all of them should be included in one single app.
Loss of Brand Identity
When you choose to include too many features and functions in your product or service, you also run the risk of losing sight of your brand identity. This can happen when companies attempt to appeal to a wide group of customers with their products and services.
While this can be appealing to a select group of customers, it can also cause your products to become diluted and lose their distinct personality.
For example: Imagine that your favourite clothing store offers everything from t-shirts to jeans to winter coats. While this may seem like a convenient way to shop for clothing, it can also make the store seem impersonal and unspecial.
You may not feel like the store is catering to your needs as a customer because it’s offering so many options. You may not feel like you stand out from the crowd.
Loss of Consumer Trust
When technology is overloaded, it can lead to customer dissatisfaction and distrust. This is especially the case when a product or service is advertised as being capable of doing more than it actually can.
For example: Imagine that you own a fitness tracker that promises to track your overall health and wellness throughout the day.
You may use the app to log your diet, exercise, and sleeping habits so that you can improve your overall health. However, if the app isn’t working properly, then it may not be able to provide you with the information you need to make positive changes in your life. This can be very frustrating, and it may cause you to lose trust in the brand or product altogether.
Dealing With a Technology Addiction
As a society, we’ve become more and more dependent on our digital devices. This constant connectivity has led to what many are calling a tech addiction crisis. Many people struggle to find the right balance between their digital life and real-life responsibilities.
At times, it seems like there is no happy medium between being glued to your phone or ignoring its existence. That said, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with technology. In moderation, it can be a useful tool that makes our lives easier and more fulfilling. But when it starts to take over your life, the negative effects can be overwhelming and detrimental to your well-being and happiness.
If you feel like you’ve gotten too wrapped up in technology lately, read on for some helpful tips on how you can break your tech addiction and reclaim control of your life again.
Here are some ways we can deal with an addiction to technology:
- Start with small changes.
While you obviously want to tackle your tech addiction head-on, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with drastic changes right off the bat. Start with small tweaks to your daily routine that will make a difference in your overall device usage and dependence.
There are tons of ways to reduce your tech dependence by starting with reducing the amount of time you spend on your devices, reduce the number of devices you use and reducing the amount of time each device is in use.
- Be mindful of when and why you use your devices
If you can understand your tech usage, it will be easier to make changes in your routine later on. Try to pay attention to when and why you use your devices. This could be while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, reading in bed before falling asleep, or hanging out with friends and family.
You’ll have to be honest with yourself, because it’s easy to trick yourself into thinking you’re not doing something harmful just because you don’t realise or acknowledge it. If you find you’re doing something harmful, try to figure out why you’re doing it and how you can change it. – Are you waiting for something? If so, perhaps you can bring a book or magazine to read instead. – Are you bored?
If so, try to find something productive to do with that wait time. – Are you tired, but you know you can’t fall asleep unless you read first? If so, try to figure out a different way to get yourself ready for bed.
- Commit to a digital diet.
A digital diet is a period of time where you try to reduce your device usage as much as possible. This can be helpful if you feel like you’ve lost control of your tech dependence. It can help you identify the areas of your life where you rely on your devices too much and need to make some changes.
You can do a digital diet at any time. You don’t have to wait until you feel like you have a tech addiction, or you feel like you’ve lost control of your device usage. If you want to make some changes, a digital diet can help you get started. – Decide how long you want to commit to the diet for. – Commit to following the diet to the letter. – Tell the people you live with or spend time with that you’re on a diet and that they should let you know if they see you breaking the rules.
- Turn off notifications.
We all love getting notifications, but they can be incredibly distracting. We’ve all seen people in public who are scrolling through their phones while they walk, seemingly unaware of those around them. It’s not only dangerous, but it’s a sign that the person isn’t fully present in the moment.
If you’re struggling with tech addiction, you may have notifications turned on for all your apps, which can make it incredibly difficult to stay focused on the task at hand. – Turn off all notifications for apps you don’t need to be notified about. – Create a separate work-only phone and/or computer. – If you have a phone with two SIM cards, use one for work and the other for your personal life.
- Put certain apps on lockdown.
If you know there is one app you absolutely cannot live without, you can turn it into a “lockdown” app. This means you will only be able to use the app at certain times, and the app will shut down and be unusable the rest of the time. You can do this with apps like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
- Put your phone in another room at night.
Put your phone in another room when you go to bed. If you want to be extra safe, you can even take the SIM card out of the phone so it can’t receive or send any calls or texts.
This is a great way to put a real end to your tech addiction. If you’re still struggling, this could be the final push you need to break your tech addiction and get yourself back on track.
- According to a 2017 report, over 210 million people worldwide are afflicted with internet and social media addictions.
- An estimated 330 million people will potentially be afflicted with internet addiction in 2022.
- 12% of teenage boys have a video gaming addiction.
- On average people check their phones up 96 times a day.
- People aged 8 to 28 spend an estimated 44.5 hours per week staring at screens
It is important to recognise that technology addiction is harming young people more than most people realise. We’ve looked at some technology addiction in youth stats already, but there are a few more worth your time.
The bottom line is that technology can be extremely useful, but it doesn’t have to be used in every single product and service. Sometimes, moderation is the best approach, especially given the fact that most people don’t have enough time in the day to make the most of everything that’s currently available to them.
If you feel like you’re being bombarded by new technologies and don’t know where to begin, the best thing you can do is start by asking yourself the following questions:
What do I already own? What do I need? And what do I want?
This will help you determine what technologies you should explore further and which ones you can safely ignore.