There are plenty of technological advances that are great for society, but so many things these days are simply designed to just sell and make money, and really just make people's lives too complex, or don't allow them to step away from work and constantly being "turned on". What ever happened to a "day off"? I don't take my phone with me when I ride my bike, don't take it skiing, and go to yoga at least once a week.
Much of the current trend in "gadgets" simply asks people to put too much faith in technology, and not enough in their own intuition, or keeping their brain sharp! I know more than one person who has gotten into trouble by relying on a "directions by GPS" that was not accurate, and had they been paying attention, was a common-sense issue to resolve (or just glance at a real map). Last year, a couple got a new GPS, and got stuck in the mountains. The GPS was telling them take a DIRT! forest service road over the Cascades in December. Hmmm, since when do they plow dirt roads in the winter? And, if they aren't plowed, how to do you expect to make it through 5 feet of snow that exists at 5,000 feet? Didn't the unplowed snow 18-inches deep that you were trying to bust through deter you: you had to go until it got 2 feet deep and then get stuck? Sure, maybe they didn't have common sense to begin with, but the "infallable technology" surely didn't help them.
I have a GPS for cycling (Garmin 705) and it is less than worthless, save for telling you approximately elevation and grade. I purchased it so I could get my current wattage, average wattage, heart rate, and speed on the same screen (when racing in TT's, that info is a huge advantage for pacing), and the GPS unit was the only one that did it all. As a GPS though, it is silly. I scope out a real map before heading out on a ride: the GPS would just not show my route, or put me onto a busy road when there is a quiet frontage road nearby. I also can't stand texting: I can type much faster, and talk much faster as well. Unless what I have to say can be done in a sentence, like "what time are we meeting?", then there is little point to it.
I am glad that I spent time in Boy Scouts, where we learned to read a map, learned to use a compass, learned to rely on common sense rather than having some gadget telling us how to think and react. Some of the kids that work for us these days can't do basic math; they need a calculator to add $35 and $35, and take 10% off the total. Most people could do that in 1/2 of a second in their head, but how long does it take to find a calculator, plug in the numbers, and get an answer? Probably 10 seconds or more. Plus, your brain isn't active and thinking, which is never a positive. It probably goes along with what kids are taught today, which is to memorize and regurgitate information in order to pass tests, and not what they need, which is learning how to think. It seems like we have to wait until college to get that, and even then, we are only learning to think in philosophy, engineering, and science classes. Everything else is reading text and spitting it back out.
No wonder we have such a dumb electorate in this country. I remember hearing study a few year ago: in 2004, only 1 in 7 people could find Iraq on a map? A vast majority of voters favor both lower taxes and increased spending and benefits? This is increasingly relative to our thread, unfortunately.