Is Making Everything ‘Smart’ a Good Idea?

It seems like everywhere you turn around today more and more things are becoming “smart.” Not that it’s necessarily any more clever than it was previously, but now the item or service has been given the ability to connect in some way to the Internet, and it makes it “smart,” be it your car, something in your home, or your watch. But is it wise to connect everything in such a way? We asked our writers, “Is making everything ‘smart’ a good idea?

Trevor sums it up in three easy words: “No it’s not.” He explains that the more “smarter” things we have, the less we retain. While it makes us more efficient, “we lose our connection to people, situations, and reality.” He looks at how quickly society wants things now versus fifteen or thirty years ago and says “it’s because we automated a lot, and there’s an app for everything.”

Derrik agrees it’s not a good idea but for a different reason. “Internet of Things devices are never updated and are easily exploitable,” so he feels making everything “smart” and interconnected “just seems like a bad idea.” Fabio see things similarly, noting things should only be “smart” only if “absolutely necessary.” If it’s not necessary, “things should stay ‘dumb’ so that the CIA can’t see or hear what you’re doing.”

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Phil is right in line with the others. He’s “always been suspicious of connecting too many devices or making them too ‘smart.’ “ He looks at it as tools and devices making decisions on their own, but he wants to be the one in charge and doesn’t want to offload too much onto a microprocessor. Additionally, he finds that ” ‘smart’ devices benefit manufacturers, marketers, and advertisers more than they do users.”

Corbin looks at it very practically, noting “simplicity and privacy are both very important aspects in regards to any form of consumer electronics.” If making devices “smart” doesn’t lead to both simplicity and privacy, then he doesn’t feel it should be done. He feels lately that “we’ve seen a lot of smart devices on the market that can both complicate the user experience and open up privacy concerns.”

I’ll admit, I always get excited when things are “smart.” I’m just that type of tech nerd that I don’t look at it too practically. But always in the back of my head, I have my husband who is known as the “Analog Man” in these parts and prescribes to the theory of K.I.S.S. – “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” Having that in the back of my mind helps me stay grounded in regards to not overdoing it with “smart” devices.

How do you feel about the tendency to make everything “smart?” Do you agree with all our writers that for one reason or another it’s just not a good idea? Or are you just excited to be able to connect in some way to as many things as you can? Is making everything “smart” a good idea? Add your thoughts to our conversation in the comment section below.

2 comments

  1. Each smart device one owns and has connected provides another point of attack for the no-goodniks. AFAIAC, Smart Home is a DUMB idea.

    I find it very interesting that, when asked point blank, many tech writers seem to be unanimous in their negative opinion of IoT and smart device but articles to that effect are few and far between. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of articles questioning the safety and security of smart devices that i have read in the past year. At the same time the number of articles praising IoT and the Smart Home has been overwhelming. Many of these pro-smart-thingamajig articles make it sound like one is totally clueless if every gadget in one’s house is not controlled by one Smartphone.

  2. All I envision is terrible problems down the road for those who trust going “smart” on everything. The next war will be a cyber-war, and when it happens the power grid will be knocked out and the computers hacked and destroyed. Those who have totally relied on devices to do everything for them will be helpless. Nerds like Sheldon, Wolowitz, Leonard, and Raj, will be worthless to those who survive. No food or protection for them. Speaking of that poor fool, Raj, he can’t even talk to women! He’s really up shet’s creek! ?

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