Designed for consumption

The most beautiful pieces of technology we use are generally geared toward consumption. Whether it is your 40 inch flat screen LED TV, that gorgeous iPad or can’t-fit-in-the-pocket phone, these screens have been created to keep us in consumption mode.

Why?

Success in consumer technology products is generally measured by usage. Attention is a scarce commodity. So, the more we spend it on our devices, the more valuable they become.

Next, these products provide us many avenues to consume content produced by studios in Hollywood. Most of these studios make money running advertising.

So, as users, there are a couple of things worth remembering. First, there’s very little incentive for technology product creators to build products that encourage us to smell the roses. And, incentives govern human behavior. So, it is on us to create incentives to limit our time with technology geared for consumption.

Second, a disproportionate portion of our happiness and fulfillment comes from creating things. So, it is on us to stop measuring how many TV shows and movies we’ve watched and counting how many things we’ve built and shipped.

Again, the devices that surround us are not designed to encourage these behaviors. This is on us.