Technology feeding our lack of planning

Have had more time on my hands, so I have been reading some books.

One book I've been reading about financial planning made an argument that technology has put us in a place where were basically prone to do less planning as things become more instant. For example, in the past, if you didn't plan to plant crops, you didn't eat; now, with food at the store, you don't need to think about it in advance. This goes on into other areas of our lives.

Just wondering what everyone's thoughts on this.

Comments (5)

Mar 25, 2020

I am sure that's true to some extent ; but also the average person has I feel like always been bad at planing for the future. The only people who seem to constantly do it are ones who have been through something bad like the Great Depression

Mar 25, 2020

I agree that most likely the average person has been bad at planning (I don't have any data to back that up).

But I also think technology has made it easier to just not plan. The book mentioned things such as instant access to navigation instead of using maps, or how you can purchase something right away with a credit card instead of having to save.

Since it was a book about financial planning, it relates to people not thinking about expenses in the future. so it took that spin.

Mar 26, 2020

I'm not immediately sure how being able to use GPS instead of a map or being able to go to the grocery store instead of planting crops translates into poor financial planning.

I would argue that being able to check and/or adjust my various accounts in real time and at any time of the day makes me far more likely to stay on top of my own financial planning. Hell, I probably check it too much via that click impulse since it's just as easy to see my savings or adjust how much goes to my 401(k) as it is to check instagram. I love never having to go to a bank too - 99% of transfers are electronic and the few checks I receive are deposited via my phone.

I didn't read the book though - what's the title?

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Mar 26, 2020

Not sure if this is the same line of thinking, but technology has successfully abstracted away personal spending / planning for decades. Credit cards are the ultimate here. They've removed the sense of loss (and planning) when spending, and that builds up very quickly.

Link to an MIT Sloan study from 2001 [PDF]:

Always Leave Home Without It: A Further Investigation of the Credit-Card Effect on Willingness to Pay

Mar 26, 2020