Whenever a new technology product is launched, it seems that the company and designers behind it are at pains to point out how it can interact with everything else we already own.
Some websites and catalogue companies even go so far as to feature a range of consumer electronics products on the same page, and proceed to explain how they can all be synchronized so that we’re always connected, whether that be to loved ones, the internet, our homes, our favourite TV shows, or anything else.
In addition to this, some products, such as the soon to launch Xbox One, actually aim to be full-scale home entertainment centres. There is no doubt that being connected 24/7, or at least having this capability, is going to be a big part of the future. Is it a good thing?
Pro: Carry On and Plan
If everything is linked together, then you’ll always have what you want and never have to worry about most things from a technology standpoint. Imagine being able to leave the home and continue playing your games console from where you left off.
We can already synchronize our laptops with our mobile devices so that when we leave home we can continue browsing or find our bookmarks.
Gadgets already exist that you can use to set your heating remotely or switch the lights on using an internet connection, too, for example. When these become the norm for everyone, we’ll live in a very different world.
Con: You’ll Never Switch Off
This isn’t meant to be a pun, but it definitely looks like one. One of the problems with always being connected is that people are going to start obsessing about the things they can do remotely. Simply sitting down and gazing out of the train window, or just meandering aimlessly through the park as you aim to gather your thoughts will become a thing of the past.
Suddenly, we’ll all feel like we’re under pressure to be doing something, and be living in a world filled with neurotics who are always on edge. At best, we’ll find ourselves distracted from what we should be supposed to be doing.
Pro: A Simple Life
There’s already an element of this in life today, with how cloud technology facilitates employees working at home, for example.
However, all connected technology will go so far that we can actually live our lives through the product we own, to a far greater degree that many already do so. It will become a reality that all we have to do is sustain ourselves and make use of the technology to hand. We’ll never have to leave home if we don’t want to; if we do, we’ll still be connected and feel like we are.
Con: The End of Society?
Okay, it might be going too far to suggest this, but we’ve already seen the negative impact that obsession with social media and other online platforms can have; just walk into a pub or restaurant and count how many people are using mobile devices.
Even more connectivity to a wider range of platforms is only going to make the situation worse.
Good or Bad?
An all connected future clearly has the potential to make lives easier and more efficient. At the same time, taken too far it will likely lead to problems such as negative changes to the way we communicate on a face-to-face basis, and perhaps even impact in areas such as mental health.
We know that an all connected future is coming; for some it is already here. Managing how we use it will be key to its success, as well as to how we live.
Mark is a technology obsessive who openly admits that an all connected future is likely to consume him and take up all of his time. For now, Mark uses a managed VPS hosting platform to regularly write about his thoughts around 24/7 connectivity and connections.