Jayne Dawson: Will 2015 be the year we fall out of love with our gadgets?

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Okay then, today we stand on the brink of...what? A new year is always a bit daunting: too fresh, too blank. Like the empty page waiting for the first sentence of your school essay.

What can you expect? Well, here’s the big news. 2015 is going to be ...unplugged.

If the predictions are true, then this will be the year that we start to fall out of love with our gadgets, the year when the latest small piece of plastic stops being a must-have and starts being a take-it-or-leave-it.

It would be quite the change. For the last decade and more we have all been busy getting connected.

Some of us, even quite a lot of us, didn’t really want to all that much. Yet we saw the potential benefits, feared being in a world that was totally alien to us, and dragged our sorry asses into the world of technology.

And in many ways, technology is a pure, unadulterated blessing. Anyone who remembers walking a mile to the nearest public phone box to make a call, only to find the phone in use by someone making the longest call in history or - worse - out of order will bless the advent of mobile phones until the day they die - and that would be me

And online shopping is a marvellous thing, unless it’s late and you’re tired and your defences are down and you decide you decide that you haven’t enough life left to justify waiting for anything anymore and you really deserve that dress...

But put all that to one side because the word is that we are about to change our attitude.We will be taking breaks from our gadgets and rediscovering the pleasures of a simpler lifestyle.

Already the number of UK visitors to social networks is dropping and that trend is expected to continue.

There’s a logic to it. Every technological innovation has had its peaks and troughs. Think of all the old cinemas that got turned into bingo halls once television came along.

Television in the early days could do no wrong, whatever it threw at us we would lap it up, from Crossroads to Blankety Blank.

But it didn’t last. A new generation grew up who didn’t need the set on in the background to make them feel safe, who didn’t want to hug it at Christmas.

On the other hand, we started to visit the cinema again. Swings and roundabouts.

Status symbols come and go. Remember when we all used to put our CDs on display in our living rooms, stacked on a special rack for all to admire? Now we’re more likely to drag our old LPs out of the loft to display instead, or curse the day we chucked them all in the bin.

So now it’s the turn of the gadget. Already there are people declaring that they are over Facebook and Twitter and all the rest. Their latest fashion statement is to switch off and go do something else instead: meditation, juicing, knitting, anything that is old-fashioned.

But unplugging isn’t really the answer. The genie is out of the bottle and it can’t be forced back in.

Besides why would we want to? Technology, well applied, is a beautiful thing.

What we really need is a balanced 2015, not an unplugged 2015. The year we start to use out gadgets as a useful tool, not a time-wasting status symbol.

That’s bound to happen eventually. Along will come a new generation who question the value of collecting “friends” they wouldn’t know if they passed them in the street, and all of that.

So if you never did that in the first place, 2015 could be the year you become a trendsetter.

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