Friday, March 20, 2015

SIMPLIFY (Is that the same as ‘EXTERMINATE!’?) *

On February 11th, the BBC ran a piece called Why is Simplicity So Complicated? They said this: Technology is meant to make everyday life more efficient, but ironically, it too creates it share of unnecessary complexity with profuse password prompts and inboxes brimming with 500 new emails per day. Why do I need to sign into an app or website using Facebook or Twitter? And the pile-on of technological simplifiers that complicate things goes on and on — just how many passwords do you have to remember to sign into everything you need for daily life and work?

They also suggested creating “complexity-free zones”, not constantly checking your email, and blocking off a period of time when you are just not connected. They went on to suggest a few solutions for harried people in the workplace.

In these days of on-line connections, we know people far and wide. Our circles of friends and acquaintances have become almost unmanageable. More and more we are relating more to what’s going on with our friends than to what’s going on right in our own homes.

Many years ago when I first went on line, I delighted in the fast and easy way I could learn, keep records, and communicate with friends and family. I jumped right on Facebook when it started ten years ago. Oooh, but after a while it all got to be too time consuming. I still have a selected few sites I check as part of my daily routine, but I opted out or unsubscribed to a lot of the sites, especially Facebook, that were taking up chunks of time each day. I’ve had to adopt the KISS method for using my computer and its computing, communication, and storage abilities. Makes life simpler.

A few thoughts:
The BBC said “Technology is meant to make everything more efficient.” It ain’t necessarily so. I learned that back in the late 60’s when we converted our bank’s checking accounts to computer. It was all supposed to be fast and easy. It was, to an extent, but we were inundated with computer printouts that made work more cumbersome for everyone from the tellers to the bookkeeping staff, and it necessitated adding several more employees.  Two steps forward, one step back.

I am extremely grateful for the inundation of computer printouts. We needed a lot of extra storage space for all the daily printouts. This was in the days before the Federal powers-that-be could decide how long to keep the daily printouts that were 11" x 15" and several feet thick, and waaaay before ever increasing memory capacity in smaller and smaller machines. The bank had to convert some basement space, mainly stealing room from the men’s and ladies’ rooms, for storage. My future husband was the one hired to do the job.

Finally, this: the end of the piece, as they always do, the Beeb tacked on this note: To comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Capital, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter. It almost makes an oxymoron of the whole article.

*With apologies to Dr. Who and the Daleks

1 comment:

  1. I've had to simplify too, or I would have been completely drowned in "stuff." Here's what's left:

    Facebook once a week for 1/2 hour, no more; emails whittled down to friends and one or two regular newsletters--and most importantly, once I find I'm deleting emails without reading them, I head down to the "unsubscribe" line at the bottom of that email and do just that. We've limited t.v. time, mainly due to the fact that on Canadian television, every hour of programming contains TWENTY MINUTES of boring, repetitive commercials, and I've grown to hate them all. We only watch TVO and recorded nature programs and specials that interest us.

    The only thing I haven't cut down on is my reading habit--and as long as I'm still around, that's one habit that isn't going bye-bye anytime soon!

    There is a world of interesting material out there, but my life won't come to a screeching halt if I don't see it all. Thanks for an interesting post. :-)