Apple & the Technology of Human Relationships

Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos

Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos

Maybe the title above is an oxymoron. Apple made a statement about it in their recent "designed in California" ad. Maybe it was intentional. Hopefully it wasn't. 

The ad opens with: “This is it. This is what matters. The experience of a product.” 

Mark Wilson observes in a Fast Company article that an appropriate edit should have corrected the opener to: “This is it. This is what matters. The experience of a person.” Watch if for yourself below. 

I'm an Apple fan. I love their products. I'm using my Mac now to type this article. I can watch the above video on my iPhone. I share pictures that celebrate my experiences on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter using my Mac, iPhone and iPad.

However, what is the impact of technology (Android, iPhone, whatever) that is designed to help us capitalize on the products that capture and perhaps help create our experience? 

  • Am I letting the product become the focus when my search for the latest app gives me one more outlet to engage my phone? 
  • Do I miss the experience happening in my living room with family when my Instagram and Facebook experiences pull me away from potential conversations?
  • Do our "friends" measure our lives alone by the experiences we post and the summary tweets we declare?  
  • Is there room for technology to enhance how I'm known - even with my "real" personal friends?
  • Do technology and the virtual world it brings us actually help us move toward physical face time where our eyes meet, our hands touch, our hearts connect and our souls are known? 

I'll buy the next iPhone and I'm looking forward to Apple's iOS7 update.  And I'll be happy about it! But, will I allow it to be more than a sleek product that comes with bragging rights? Will it be a product that interferes with or enhances my relationships?  

What about you? What do you think?

  • Where and how does technology enhance or erode our human relationships? 
  • How do our virtual "friendships" and shared experiences help us connect to our culture in meaningful ways?  
  • How do we balance the connectivity that technology brings us with the value of personally translating the story of God in the stories of people in our lives? How do we juggle the tension?

Now, back to Instagram.  

(Read Mark Wilson's full article here.)