Choice or Convenience?: in Technology and Relationships

Would you choose freedom of choice or convenience? The Wired had written an article about the surviving form of the internet which spoke loudly to me, not just about the state of the internet:

“Openness is a wonderful thing in the nonmonetary economy of peer production. But eventually our tolerance for the delirious chaos of infinite competition finds its limits. Much as we love freedom and choice, we also love things that just work, reliably and seamlessly. And if we have to pay for what we love, well, that increasingly seems OK.” To that same point, it also says, “As much as we intellectually appreciate openness, at the end of the day we favor the easiest path. We’ll pay for convenience and reliability, which is why iTunes can sell songs for 99 cents despite the fact that they are out there, somewhere, in some form, for free.”

Firstly, just to define the terms in this article: is openness = to choose? Conversely, does giving options mean being open? I would say it is relative, because choice is never boundless – we can only choose from what we are offered. Even if we create something new, it is bound by what makes it viable and sustainable. Significance is relative, but let us assume at the point which people feel they have a choice, there exists a significant amount of openness. Let’s assume openness offers choice.

I often apply theories across disciplines, which demonstrates my favouring of social determinism. After reading that article, I can’t help applying this argument about technologies onto interpersonal relationships, which brought me to a conclusion that further supported my belief.

Technology related behaviour is just an extension of our everyday practices, such as interpersonal relationships. After meeting new people and running around between social circles people, it is part of our instinct to return to family. We want to settle down for the people who are always there –  whether family by blood or by choice; human, animal, or artificial intelligence – who offer “convenience and reliability”. Yet it is the coexistence of both that makes us appreciate either one.

Those people who appreciate their families are the ones who realize they have the choice to choose to be with them or not. Those who feel trapped with their parents, siblings, and/or significant others, avoid them at all costs. You can’t infer that they do not appreciate their family, but they do want freedom via choice and the ability to control how much time and in what method they interact. Lastly,

“And if we have to pay for what we love, well, that increasingly seems OK.”

We all appreciate the elegance of simplicity. In other words: we are lazy. We appreciate convenience rather than choice, comfort over freedom. Socially… is this screaming mail order brides or what?

 

A slice of my mind. Help yourself.

[Quote source: The Wired – The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet via WebProNews]

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1 Comment

Filed under Commentary, Starred

One response to “Choice or Convenience?: in Technology and Relationships

  1. ben

    very interesting take on this article. as someone who frequently takes sports stuff and apply it to real life scenarios, it’s cool to read another (geek) who does the same, but with a tech article.

    “Those who feel trapped with their parents, siblings, and/or significant others, avoid them at all costs. You can’t infer that they do not appreciate their family, but they do want freedom via choice and the ability to control how much time and in what method they interact. ”

    this part struck me, because, as i’ve told u, the ex basically left hk because she felt some inexplicable desire for independenc and to find herself. she was too comfortable, for too long, and needde to get away. i dunno if she’ll ever return, though.

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