Accessability Links

ARE WE FACING A WORLD WITHOUT THINGS?

Wednesday 27th May 2015

In a recent article published by The Times – it was suggested that the acceleration of technology is killing the need for people to own things.


The sheer range and quality of functionality of a Smartphone has eradicated the need to own several separate technology devices and everyday items as we can now access pretty much anything from our smartphone device. Separate items that the average consumer can do without includes walkmans, cameras , alarm clocks, TV’s, notebooks , newspapers and watches among others things. Obviously there are exceptions to this and someone with a particular interest in photography may not sacrifice their hi-spec camera for their in-build phone camera but you get the point.

This notion ties in with an earlier article from The Times which noted  ‘The smartphone is shutting down the bookshop, and the film processing lab. It’s undermining the highstreet and even the doctor’s surgery now that it is counting our steps, keeping an eye on our blood sugar and in the iphone’s case – doing medical research using our stats!’  See our previous blog “A Brave New World Of Health Tech” in full here.

I mean, why would we fork out for numerous separate devices  when our smartphone enables almost everthing to be accessed in one place from the palm of our hand?

Leading funiture manufacturers are now reporting that they are now selling 25%  fewer bookshelves than a decade ago as it looks like we are saying a long goodbye to owning physical copies of books and DVDs. The rise of the kindle, and electronic downloadable books is shifting the need for consumers, other than collectors and enthusiasts to own hard copies. Online streaming sites and apps such as net flix and downloadable movies and tv shows available on itunes are also limiting the need for consumers to rush out and buy the new release dvds in the way that they previously did.

As we delve deeper in this this digital revolution, are we really facing a world without things or at least a world where things don’t last very long?

The blame points towards the rise of the smartphone but if we dig deeper,  the signs have been all over the road for a lot longer  - with the dining room table being ditched for takeaway pizza and a tray on our laps in front of the TV.

On a separate point, the economy has shifted with housing prices significantly higher than years ago, making it increasingly more difficult for people to buy their own homes and therefore deciding not to buy and own as many possessions.

It has previously been said that we are defined by the things we make, buy and own, by the things our parents give us and the things we give to our children. The longer we own things the more value they hold. ‘Those dents and scratches carry our memories.’ If we stop owning things what will fill the gap? Does an app on an iPhone hold the same value and sentiment? Or does owning less ‘stuff’ contribute to a positive feeling of having less clutter in our lives? 

We'd love to get your thoughts on this, tweet us @amsourcetech.

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