Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Personalizing the World

While adjusting my half of the dual climate control in the new car to a toasty 75 degrees, I was struck by how much we customize our experiences. If I were a coffee drinker, I could order precisely the right flavor, with just the right amount of foam, and my choice of lactose source.

On the web, I have an RSS feed that gives me only the headlines I want to see based on my keywords and publication preferences. My web browser loads exactly the page I want to see upon opening the window. Even Blogger lets me choose the template I like for this blog and pick the information I want to present.

We are trying desperately to feel special in a highly populated world. Customization lets us feel like we are getting special treatment, even if our preferences are being fed to us by a computer.

2 comments:

J. said...

I find my need for customization to be borderlining on autism. It's not that I need to feel special, that my individuality needs to be expressed or something.

It just HAS to be done.

First thing I did when I got my laptop was change the wallpaper, the screensaver, sound and font. Same thing with my mobile and my company blackberry.

Okay now I've got a sudden urge to watch the Rain man ...

Leigh said...

Thanks for your comment, j. Customization is contagious. Once you've customized one thing, you want to personalize whenever possible.