Unintended consequences of Introducing new tech into our lives

Introducing a new piece of technology into our lives has the ability to change us in ways we didn't foresee and don't notice until we have the opportunity to live without it. Smartphones are an obvious example, but this isn't about smartphones (entirely).

On a trip to Spain I misplaced my Airpods. Until they turned up 3-weeks later in my backpack (in that one pocket you never open because it's too small for anything...except a pair of AirPods), I had the chance to live as if I never bought them. While my runs were a bit harder...but I could actually think and sort my thoughts without music distracting me.Β 

I slept better, too. I hadn't realized that I had gotten into the habit of watching videos on the internet for ~hour most nights before bed on my phone. And since I was on my phone, I'd ultimately peek into Email or Slack. But without my AirPods, I couldn't watch YouTube in bed, so I'd just sleep.

I didn't expect purchasing AirPods would result in me losing an hour of sleep a night.

What about reintroducing older technology into our lives? I've found it can have positive affects in our lives. I recently refurbished an iPod Classic. I grew tired of streaming music –finding music is difficult (much easier to scroll around than type on virtual keyboard or tap through 4 different screens one handed) and it buffers.

With my iPod, on the train, my mind can wander like it used to. When I want to change a song, I just change a song. I don't get distracted by unlocking my phone, searching for the Music app, waiting for attempt to reload its state...before ultimately dumping me at the top of the navigation. When I start or stop a song there isn't this fear that bluetooth has messed up and I'm about to play music into a rush hour train (only works with wired headphones and there isn't a speaker on the device). I can relax and just enjoy the music.

When we buy new tech, we often only think about the promises of the product, and we don't think about the unintended changes that these products might bring. If we do not consider these and are not intentional when introducing tech we may find ourselves anxious and sleep deprived and without an understanding why.