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Lancaster hit the headlines earlier this year when it emerged that a team of researchers had developed an iPod application that kids can used to work out if they’re obliviously chatting to a peadophile online. The app Child Defence, can analyse streams of language to determine the age of its author. Although some argue that the app could lure children and parents into a false sense of security, it is thought that any technology to help protect children must be a good thing.
This news gives rise to questions surrounding our use of technology and dependence on it, and the ever growing list of iPod applications that get developed. It seems that there is nothing in our lives at the moment that an iPod app can’t help us out with. Want to learn how to cook? Loose weight? Navigate to a far off land? Well, as Apple so lovingly tells us – there’s an app for that. There is pretty much nothing you can do in your life that you can’t do better with an iPod/iPhone, or, if you’re really fancy, an iPad.
So, is this a good thing? Well, I guess the thing that apps have on their side is that they make life so much easier for us. Don’t know where you’re going? Never fear, have a sneaky look on your iPad and just when you need it the must, there’s a satnav there for you, just itching to lead you in the right direction. Need to send an email? Of course, the joys of WiFi means that you can access the internet pretty much anytime anywhere. Not only that, but above all, they’re pretty damn cool. Whether it’s playing a quick game of Angry Birds, or finding the nearest tube station on a tube map, you do feel pretty snazzy touching – not clicking – away, knowing that there’s probably someone near you dying to have a quick play. I write this on a train now, bored out of my mind, because my iPod battery has died leaving me without access to music, internet and apps that will pass the time.
So, they must be amazing then, case closed. Not quite. Those prone to doom and clone like to warn up that these things are just bringing us one step closer to a technology dependent society, and there’s got to be some truth in that. Ever been out and about when your phone dies and it feels like the world is falling apart around you? Then you are at least a tiny bit dependent on your technology. And let’s face it, applications and the technology that comes with them do make us incredibly lazy.
Yes, I sound like an 80 year old woman, but instead of an app that shows me where to go, why not just buy a map? It’s not that hard. I mean, did you know there’s an iPod app that helps you make decisions? I’m not just talking about, “Should I go shopping today?” I mean genuinely important, life changing, “Should I drop out of university?” kind of decisions. There’s even an app for all those fantastic parents out there to work out what kind of cry your baby’s doing. If it’s just an, “I want an attention” cry then there’s no need for you to get up. Talk about lazy!
The thing is, whether you love them or loathe them, apps and the various apple technology they come on are well and truly among us and there’s no getting away from it. Yes we may be getting a little too obsessed with our gadgets, but it’s called moving forward, and it’s just what the human race does. And anyway, let’s not forget that the technology market is cyclical. iWhatever apps and the various tech gear that they come on are going be old news – e-waste if you will – eventually, and in a few years time they’ll be something even more important that we never knew we needed to make us fat, lazy and square eyed. Excited?