It’s commonly spoken truism that the pace of change has never faster than today – and much of that is being driven by technology which is influencing almost every aspect of our consumers’ lives.
Heroes and villains
Often topics are over-simplified, rapidly reduced to a heroes and villains narrative. Some see smartphones as villains, blaming them for a diverse set of ills – damaging eye development in children, disrupting sleep, reducing attention spans and our ability to focus, causing traffic accidents, and so on.
Terms like ‘neo-luddite’ are appearing in the media to describe how some people are choosing to “reject” technology – with parallels being drawn to the rebellious actions of workers whose jobs were displaced by machines during the Industrial Revolution two centuries ago.
However appealing a life with less tech might be to some consumers, the internet cannot be ‘un-invented’. The hypocrisy of some of the anti-tech rhetoric was neatly summarised by a US University Professor:
“College students take out their earbuds to discuss how technology dominates their lives. But when a class ends, their cell phones all come to life, screens glowing in front of their faces, and they migrate across the lawns like giant schools of cyborg jellyfish.”
The tech brands are themselves are using tech to help solve the consumer tension, in what is almost certainly a pre-emptive strike (and a sign of concern about the potential commercial impact).
Brands that harness technology to mitigate the impact of (often technology-enabled) stress are becoming big business.