Text and photo: Klaus Botta

Does this sound familiar? You spend more and more time managing the gadgets and accessories that you have purchased. First you have to understand how to operate them, then you have to keep them up-to-date and maintain them regularly, and then, when they reach the end of their lifetime, you need to replace them with a new and ideally even better device.

Surely there are better ways to spend our leisure time and determine how we wish to live, aren’t there?

Take the smartphone, for instance: these mini-computers can do some amazing things, and have now become an integral part of our lives that we take entirely for granted. After all, they do make a whole lot of things quicker and more convenient.

But even before you buy one you have the stress of selecting the right model. And the stress doesn’t stop once you have brought your new gadget home: first it needs to be charged up, then the apps and software installed. Then personalized. All kinds of decisions need to be taken (connectivity vs. data privacy) that have far-reaching consequences yet hardly anyone fully understands. We hesitantly put our tick next to the words “I agree”, though we always feel a bit nervous about what this might actually mean for us down the line.

On a day-to-day basis there are lots of trivial things that need to be dealt with – though each may only take a few minutes, this nonetheless adds up to quite a bit of time having been spent on them by the end of the day. We charge our phones, check our e-mails, send WhatsApp messages and texts, take photos and post them on Instagram, manage and maybe even edit our pics a little (because we can), enter new addresses, and connect via Bluetooth, NFC or WiFi. We activate our fitness trackers (because otherwise there isn’t really much point in doing sport…), download or stream music, and much more besides.

Altkönig in the Taunus Mountains

Photo: Marc Müller
Altkönig in the Taunus Mountains

And that’s just our smartphones…

Then we have our computers, which also need regular updates and backups – as otherwise we will be exposed to risky security vulnerabilities! And increasingly our cars are also becoming mobile computers that virtually none of us really understand, let alone have mastered completely.

Even I – a self-proclaimed fan of technology and progress – find myself reaching my limits. It is reassuring (but also in some ways alarming) to note that my 18-year-old son is also increasingly stressed by the growing complexity of his current life. Because he is particularly good with modern technology, all kinds of people ring him up when they have problems with their gadgets – and they do so at all times of day and night (which they can, thanks to the smartphone). 

Yearning for a more simple and self-determined existence

I find that it is in particular those who these days tend to be described as “high achievers” who are increasingly overburdened and exhausted by modern life. And in many cases, this is linked to the desire for simplification and peace and quiet (at least some of the time).

I have noticed that highly performance-oriented and intelligent people are rejecting the complexity of everyday life and seeking a calmer and more self-determined existence. Also in the material world. Simplicity in structure and operation are increasingly becoming a feature that will influence purchasing decisions.

I have noticed that highly performance-oriented and intelligent people are rejecting the complexity of everyday life and seeking a calmer and more self-determined existence. Also in the material world. Simplicity in structure and operation are increasingly becoming a feature that will influence purchasing decisions.

One-hand watch UNO

This is why I have dedicated myself to the way in which time is perceived, and have developed watches like the UNO, which allow us to take a really conscious approach to the passing of time.

It is no real surprise then that the book “Simplify your Life” by Werner Tikky Küstenmacher has become an absolute bestseller. I can heartily recommend this book to everyone, and would equally recommend engaging with my personal realization, namely that “simplicity is the true luxury of the present day”.

Yours sincerely, Klaus Botta

Author Klaus Botta

Klaus Botta ist ein deutscher Industriedesigner. Bekanntheit erlangte er durch die Entwicklung der Einzeiger-Armbanduhr und löste damit einen Trend aus, dem andere Hersteller folgten. Bis heute fasziniert ihn der bewusste Umgang mit Zeit. So entstanden viele weitere ungewöhnliche Zeitkonzepte, in denen der Mensch, das Maß der Dinge ist.

More posts by Klaus Botta

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