Why the Wired World Isn't Worth a Cup of Dog Pee
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how it feels, at least to me, that we, as a society, have allowed technology, in its many forms, to oversaturate our lives.
We document almost everything we do on some form of social media. Our access to news -- as it happens -- and information -- anything and everything -- has reached a point so absurd I often find myself feeling lost. And there literally is an app for everything.
For instance, I was in the pet store the other day and saw this:
You collect a sample of your pet's urine. You photograph it in a cup with your phone. You submit the picture via the Petnostics app and you'll receive a report with your dog's or cat's vitals.
My initial reaction to that was a rush of the anxiety I feel when I think about the aforementioned over-saturation and information overload. This feeling of the tides of technology enveloping us to the point where nothing transpires the way it used to and every idea you've ever had has been thought of and, quite possibly, digitized, monetized and maybe even scaled out by somebody else. That's unsettling.
Then I talked to the manager of the pet store. While he agreed Petnostics probably is a bit over the top ("I know when something is wrong with my dog"), he did point out the benefits. For instance, if your dog or cat has an existing medical condition, you can use the pee-in-a-cup service as a way to monitor his or her vitals without having to pay a veterinarian a much more expensive fee for the work.
That's sensible. As it often is. What appears pointless, useless and excessive to one person fills a real need for another. And my anxiety subsides. But it got me thinking about the place and pace of technology in our lives. While Petnostics might be just fine, other things exist that innocently serve largely unnecessary functions and might even cross some sort of line. A line where technology hits a tipping point in enough people's lives to trigger a backlash we might actually notice.
That's a theme I want to keep thinking about and riffing on. Because I reckon there's something there. And that I might not be the only person having the thought.
Part of what concerns me about Apple's (AAPL) forthcoming iWatch (or whatever they will call it) ties into what I have written about here. Will it simply be too much for consumers who are already intricately tied to, if not obsessed with their smartphones (and quite possibly a tablet and/or laptop as well)? When does information -- about yourself and others -- become too much information?
While everybody else -- at least where I live -- moves full steam ahead trying to dream up the next big app or whatever, I'm wondering if a point exists where it will have all just gone too far.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.