What my over-reliance on Grammarly taught me about our app-addicted culture

This article was translated from our English edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. The opinions expressed by the employees of Contractor they are personal.

“There is an application for that”. This phrase has been used at some point in reference to just about anything, sometimes in a hilarious way. Over the past few decades, app development has reached unprecedented heights, and nothing can stop it.

Since the launch of the Android Market (now Google Play) in 2008, the number of available apps has grown to around 3.48 million apps. Apple’s App Store is not far behind, with around 2.22 million apps. These applications range from games to all kinds of business and self-help applications that cover almost all areas of human activity.

A while ago I found myself struggling with a bad case of application dependency. I haven’t had a worse time than anyone else of my generation, except I was bothered by the long-term effects of depending on an app for everything from buying food to shopping. relationship building.

As an app enthusiast, I started a web app as my first startup and I know firsthand the value that apps bring to their users. As a writer, I also know the value apps like Grammarly have given me. However, this coin has two sides.

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A while ago, I was concerned about my addiction to the AI ​​editing tool, Grammarly, when I noticed that the more I typed, the more suggested edits increased. I quit one day when I saw 200 confusing editing suggestions on a 5,000 word project. It was even worse when I saw the suggested fixes; basic mistakes! I was furious

It became clear to me at this point that I was getting lazy and paying less attention to my writing due to the presence of an app…an app that I had to pay to renew no less. This experience is not typical of all writers, but it is certainly common.

To counter this effect, I started to be very intentional and diligent with my writing. I recently completed a 6,000 word project for a client who had zero errors and celebrated as if it were my birthday.

This experience led me to take an x-ray of my habits, which revealed a disturbing trend of app addiction. Would I rather download a new app than use my creativity or analytical skills? Unfortunately, I answered yes to this question, which only made me more concerned about the long-term effects of this app addiction on an entire generation.

App-induced lethargy and addiction

When I got my first calculator in school, I lost the urge to do a math problem without it, probably because I never liked math. To this day, I still find myself relying heavily on a calculator. This mental numbness is what worries me the most in our current culture of app addiction.

Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president of user growth at Facebook, admitted that the short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops Facebook has created are destroying the way society works. The addictive effect of social apps and how they harness the same neural circuitry used by slot machines and cocaine to boost user engagement is well documented, but the scope can be extended to include non-social apps.

Application developers subscribe to the fundamental principle of entrepreneurship; find a problem and solve it. Solving a problem will almost certainly create a profitable business, but the question to ask is, “Do all problems require an application-focused solution?” More importantly, are all problems bad?

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Financial and personal consequences.

Apps are businesses, and businesses often charge money to grant access to their apps; this has become especially easy with the SaaS business model. In fact, this means that in some cases we now have to pay to do things that we can do with a little mental or physical effort. This puts regular users at a disadvantage and entrepreneurs a great advantage.

Additionally, the type of personal data we are required to disclose varies from application to application, and the future ramifications of this type of exposure are frightening. Just think about the possible effects of a successful trick; exploitation, blackmail and commercialization of our private data.

Much has already been said about Industry 5.0 and how the combination of man and machine will revolutionize production for the next generation. However, using AI and technology at all times on a personal level tends to increase productivity while simplifying those who depend on it.

Can we stop the proliferation of AI applications and technologies for personal use? No! It’s probably the way of the future, and that’s why the only solution should come from a place of personal responsibility.

Personal responsibility is the way out.

My desire to reduce the number of grammatical suggestions in my work has made me a better writer than ever. I chose to learn from suggestions and improve with the app instead of falling into torpor and letting the app do the heavy lifting.

Taking personal responsibility and challenging ourselves to evolve to a point where we don’t need constant assistance to do very human things would be a great approach to this problem. This personal responsibility extends to choosing apps that make us stronger, not weaker.

For example, I am a lover of travel and new languages. Imagine my excitement when I discovered apps that taught languages ​​in an easy-to-understand way. Soon after discovering these apps, I also discovered apps that simply translated my speech into other languages ​​to facilitate communication. We can see the value of both apps in different scenarios, but I would definitely choose the harder-to-learn option over the easier-to-translate option.

I mean, what if I travel to a new country and lose the phone that has the translator app installed? The panic of losing a phone combined with the inability to express that loss can’t be a good thing.

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The future of evolution might be humans evolving with machines, but big tech companies are the biggest winners in this scenario. Humanity should always seek to better itself with the least dependence on external factors.


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