Opinion: What 'Masochistic' Wearable Tech Says About Desire For Choice
A total of three million wearable tech gadgets were bought in the UK alone in 2015. Leading in these sales are tech tools used to track the body’s physical activities. In addition to these gadgets, there is a growing demand for techs which control a person’s life and institutes limits on available choices. One may wonder why this growing demand.
According to the 2017 World Consumer Rights Day theme. Many consumers don’t trust services and products from the digital economy driven by technology. This statement is however not conclusive when digging deeper into understanding the ever changing relationship between technology and human beings. While several consumers may not have full trust for some tech-driven services, others are depending on technology to make decisions for them and have a say on virtually every step they take. According to sociologist William Davies, these desires lead to increase in ‘predictive shopping’. This involves delivering goods to consumers’ past buying history as opposed to expressed choice to buy. There is an upcoming category of wearable techs that show the growing appetite among consumers for technologies that make decisions on their behalf and places limits on what they can do.
Many people associated wearable technology with fitness gadgets that are used to monitor a person’s physical activities. There is raise in demand for technologies that limit individual options and constrain ones capacity to choose. Considering the way in which liberation, autonomy and freedom of expression as been advanced in many developed countries, these tools could add on the gains already recorded. But with these technologies coming up one may wonder where the desire for personal dominion is coming from.
In the 1950s, many American consumers depended more on paternalistic advertising and marketing techniques which dictated the way consumer live a big part of their lives. Many consumers protested the way in which advertising companies were offering oppressive methods on how to spend their money while at the same time claiming they have to the power to choose and determine the direction for their lives. Many of the successful brands of the time like Volkswagen offered platforms upon which consumers could achieve the desire for self-expression.