A lack of change and a lack of news frustrates me.
A lot of what I do for this site is cultivate the latest and greatest in the world of tech. I sift through everything that’s happening and try to pick out the most interesting and unique and appealing stories, and present them here on the site. It’s frustrating to me, then, when nothing happens on a given day, or in a given week, because there’s less to share with you.
As I was lamenting the fact that it was another slower news week, I realized – things are happening ALL THE TIME in the world of tech, but it’s so subtle and gradual and we all adapt so quickly to it that it almost seems like nothing is happening at all. Any website you go to, for instance, has (most likely) undergone a handful of major iterations over the past few years. I realized this when I saw a story on The Verge about how Facebook was tweaking its News Feed to surface stories you may have missed.
Think, for a second, about Facebook. My tech memory (or attention span?) is so short that I find it hard to remember what my profile looked like before Timeline took over. I’ve only had a Cover Photo since January, but I literally cannot remember what my page looked like without it. Is that weird? Probably. But it’s also indicative (at least to me) of the way tech changes gradually without many momentous landmarks. Sure, adding Timeline was a huge deal, but Facebook seems to add weekly tweaks that improve discovery or change one thing here or there, and they’re all swept under the rug as we notice them, accept them and move on.
Feedly is another example. After mourning the loss of Google Reader, I switched over to Feedly. Feedly’s undergone a number of noticeable tweaks since Reader went away – the font has changed, saved stories have gotten better and easier to manage, and it has even added in a paid option to give you more features. Even though I’ve only been using Feedly for two months, I can’t imagine going back now and using the version I first used. It’s changed so much – yet so gradually in such small ways – that it’s almost a completely new product, just like Facebook.
It’s very easy to get spoiled in the tech world we live in today, where things happen a hundred miles per hour all day, every day. We may get taken by surprise from time to time, but it seems like the way tech advances is on a slow and steady pace. This makes things far less exciting, but it also provides us with the best of the best as soon as it’s ready.
Imagine having to wait two years to “upgrade” to a new version of Facebook, just like you have to do with a smartphone. Wouldn’t that be terrible? We may never get a radical, major upgrade the way we would when upgrading from, say, a Motorola Droid 3 to an iPhone 5, but we’re always guaranteed the latest and greatest on a constant basis.
And that’s a much better tech world to live in.