It Only Gets Better When We Redefine “Better”

Intriguing reflection by Matt Buchanan at BuzzFeed (It Never Gets Better) about how strongly we buy into the promise of technology:

There’s an update waiting for you. For your apps, for your computer and phone and tablet and the box attached to your TV. Updates are so routine that when you buy a smartphone or a tablet, you don’t just hope it will be better tomorrow than it is today, doing new and wonderful things that it doesn’t already do — you expect it. That’s the magic of software.

Yet, for the most part, it never gets there. Buchanan’s advice is to buy things that work well now, not those that only offer the promise of working well, once the next update comes out, etc. Great advice.

It seems to me that we place a lot of faith in technology as a means to achieving what we hope for. Social media will put us in touch, easing our loneliness. Biotech will heal our bodies, extending our lives. Manufacturing and design will make our lives easier, improving the quality of our lives. We have so much faith in our tech to live up to our hopes, we will cut it some slack when it fails to live up to our expectations. And it pretty much always does. So, when will we start to accept the fact that tech doesn’t solve every problem? When will we learn to manage both our faith and hope?

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