I love technology! But who doesn’t these days? Are you on Facebook and Twitter? Have your smartphone linked to your email and constantly texting friends instead of calling someone? Me too.
Technology can be great but you must not lose site of its purpose. That’s why I’m taking some time to write down my thoughts and hope that it helps someone decide on technology they may want to purchase.
I believe consumer electronics have three basic functions: 1) Communicate, 2) Consume entertainment, and 3) Produce content for school/work/organizations/etc.
Number one is a basic human necessity. Everyone communicates in some fashion, and technology helps communication. It could be between friends or groups of friends. It could be a major advertising firm trying to communicate a message to consumers. It could be someone posting their thoughts about technology on a blogging site. Here are a few technologies I would say are primarily for communication: Email, SMS/MMS, IRC, AIM, Facebook, Twitter, Phone Calls, Skype, Flickr.
Number two is the times you sit back and observe. Watching some TV or a movie. Listening to music or learning a foreign language. Consuming entertainment and other content can be a primary function of some electronics. Examples are: DVD’s, Cable Boxes, TV, MP3’s, iPod, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, YouTube, family videos and slide shows.
Other electronics will focus on producing content instead of communication or consuming it. Everything that is in the communicating and consuming categories can be produced on a device. There are also other tools to produce content like Office products and movie editing. Plenty of content needs to be created electronically, or at least edited. Examples are: Budget/Expense reports, typed letters, movies, mixing songs, writing resumes, your coffee maker that has coffee ready at a certain time. (The last one isn’t a digital content production, but I thought it was worth mentioning).
Most devices or software are going to be used for more than one of the primary uses, but I think it is a pretty good way to think of basic functions. Everyone gets carried away with the excitement of new stuff, but try to remember the basics of the device or software you are purchasing or using. If you do that, you will probably feel better about the purchase in the long run.