Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Is it me? Or do technical updates also scare you? asks LIBBY PURVES

Is it me? Or do technical updates also scare you? asks LIBBY PURVES

  • The world has been redesigned over the past decade to make us dependent on technology
  • Libby Purves Says There’s a Constant Need for Annoying Upgrades
  • British writer says digital kit is fine as it is and companies are playing with us


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Digital devices make life easier, but they’ve taken us hostage. Phones, tablets and laptops have been artfully designed and improved since those early days of green screens and dial-up tones, and that’s great – until you realize that huge parts of your life now depend on it.

For calls and shopping, bookings and chatter, loving messages and comforting music, we have come to rely on glittering screens. The world has been redesigned in the last decade or so to make us dependent on our technology and, to the horror, it puts us under the spell of the constant need to upgrade ourselves and enforce new habits.

Worst of all is the tyranny of ‘updates’. There you are, busy with your day, wanting to check something before going out, and your machine smugly says it’s too busy ‘installing’ some improvements you didn’t ask for.

Libby Purves states there is no need for constant annoying updates as digital kit is fine as it is but companies are playing with us (file image)

Libby Purves states there is no need for constant annoying updates as digital kit is fine as it is but companies are playing with us (file image)

When it’s done, it may have rearranged or blocked your desktop with an incomprehensible prompt to do something called Adobe Acrobat.

You go outside and try to park your car at the train station, which can only be paid for via the PayByPhone app. So you click on it, but since it’s been three weeks since you last tried it, it insists on working on itself for a few minutes.

The taxi app is improving itself, my Kindle is working on itself. Digital kings, just stop! This kit is good as it is.

On the other hand, your taxi app may also be busy with self-improvement, so that’s another wait. And so on until bedtime, when you pick up your Kindle for a soothing reading and it’s decided to “improve your reading experience.” That completely changes the look, and now you can’t find how to adjust the brightness.

Digital kings, just stop! This kit is good as it is. You taught us to love it and need it, and now you just play with us!

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