“There’s an app for that.”
That’s the slogan (and subsequent trademark) of Apple Inc., coined way back in 2009.
It’s 2022 and there’s an app for just about anything these days. From apps that take care of your mental health to apps that help you date — if you’ve got a problem and need a solution, chances are you’ll find it right in your smartphone.
For the tech-savvy, this sounds like a dream come true. However, apps aren’t the solution to everything. Not all problems can be solved simply by throwing technology at them. Some aspects of life are best dealt with only in the real world.
For example, while there are many apps that help you take great photos, there isn’t a single app that tells you that are taking too many photos and need to be in the moment. Or while there is no end to the many shopping apps we have today, not one exists just to warn you that you are spending too much money and need to slow down. Or while there are endless diet and nutrition apps to track your calories, even recover from eating disorders, none of them can reach out and cheer you on the way a human can. As amazing as they are, apps are no replacement for emotions like concern, empathy, and human warmth.
I’m all for using technology to make life easier. But not like this.
Now before you accuse me of having an Amish-level disdain for technology and its many conveniences, I’d like to clarify that I’m not against it. The problem is that many of us are overdependent on it, thus living a large chunk of our lives on autopilot. We are making way for digital dementia by letting apps handle tasks we should be doing by ourselves. Thanks to them, we are able to get away with using our minds as little as possible, barely functioning when they malfunction or are unavailable. Not to mention the damage apps do to young minds’ identity and creativity.
This is by no means an exaggeration. As of 2018, there were 2.6 million apps in the Google Play store and 2.1 million apps in the Apple Store, and the numbers are increasing. It’s time we all learn to resist downloading just one more app that will help us do something better and try to do it the old-fashioned way instead. That’s the only way to combat technological extremism and root for our own abilities instead.
We are living in an age of app overload and for some things, there aren’t any apps yet. And that’s the way it should be because over-reliance on technology makes us more like machines and less like people. We have our own machine—our brains—that we should rely on instead of depending on the brains of others aka apps.