The ease with which it is possible to carry out certain tasks thanks to connected objects is an undeniable gain in comfort. But wouldn’t it also be a source of addiction? Newspaper.
On the occasion of an experience lived by one of his journalists on a family trip, digitaltrends questions our addiction to the connected home in an article published on May 19, 2022.
It all starts with an ordinary action at bedtime: “Alexa, turn off the light. ” A daily habit for the author of the article who took several seconds to realize that no, the hotel was not equipped with connected light bulbs. The yet basic gesture of getting up to activate the switch had become obsolete, even strange, for him.
This anecdotal experience, however, prompted him to think a little more about the place that these new technologies take in our daily lives and to measure our degree of dependence.
A real physical dependence
When we talk about addiction, we are really talking about addiction here. In the past, the landline telephone was a practical means of communication, but mainly reserved for necessity. Today, it allows us to be permanently connected with our loved ones and the outside world.
This permanent connection is such that nomophobia develops (the fear of not having a mobile phone at hand). If the device fails or there is no network, this creates a physical stress reaction in the user, especially in the younger generation.
But young people are not necessarily the only ones affected. In the article, digitaltrends recounts the misadventure of Lisa Tinti who recounts her experience of the connected home in her blog. While she had bought connected cameras for her “peace of mind”a loss of connection only amplified his initial anxiety and, in the end, what was supposed to appease him became a source of anguish.
For the youngest, it’s a member of the family
In its article, the website mentions a CNN paper which claims that among the first words known to the author’s child were dad, mom, cat and Alexa. And the case is far from isolated. The new generation is growing up with technologies that are part of their daily lives, while at the same age their parents saw them in science fiction films. In the early years, a child may liken a voice assistant to a family member, although the latter does not have a body.
A problem of organization and memory
Another problem with this “easy” technology concerns memory and the sense of organization. The author of the article mentions the fact of often misplacing his phone at home without feeling the need to pay attention to it, since Alexa or a connected watch can easily find it for him.
Another important point is memory. Who still remembers phone numbers? In the past, the need to dial the number pushed us to memorize it. Today, this operation is no longer necessary and our mental directory contains at best (for the majority of people) a few close numbers. Same observation for the agenda with reminders: it is no longer necessary to remember your appointments, except that in the event of a problem, the organization of the day is quickly disrupted.
The acquisition and memorization of certain knowledge also become more difficult, especially at school level. Indeed, what good is remembering a particular formula when Google is able to give it in a few seconds, thus bypassing the whole neural process of learning.
Should we be worried about it? In his conclusion, the author of the article does not perceive any real immediate threat, but underlines the fact that it is advisable to be cautious in the face of these early signals. And to ask the following question: wouldn’t we be on the way to exchanging part of our mental acuity for convenience?