Wednesday 23 January 2019

Reality TV and Facebook – the worst innovations of last decade

Reality television, Facebook, Twitter and congestion charging are some of the worst innovations of the last decade, according to a survey which has highlighted the most beneficial and most negative ideas to have changed our lives in recent years.

The internet dominates both the best and worst lists, with home broadband, followed by online shopping as the two ideas to have made the most positive contribution to our lives. Google, the search engine comes in at third place.

However, the internet is also responsible for many ideas that people don't appreciate, including Twitter, the micro blogging site; Facebook, the social network; and Pop-up advertising, all of which make it into the top five innovations that have had the most negative effect on our lives.

The shortlist of the innovations of the decade was drawn up the Foundation, a consultancy, which advises retailers, banks and other consumer companies. The list was then voted on by 2,200 consumers.

The roots of reality television stretch far back, but it took off in 2000 with Castaway, featuring Ben Fogle, now a presenter and columnist, and others living on a remote Scottish Island for a year. It was swiftly followed by Big Brother and an increasing line of more down market and exploitative shows.

The main reason the format topped the list, along with Facebook and Twitter, was "irritation" and "time wasting", according to the those surveyed.

Technology is also behind the fourth most hated innovation: automated call centres, which force consumers – trying to ring up their utility company or bank – to listen to a machine telling them to push numbers on their telephone keypad.

Green measures feature on both the worst and best list, with community recycling schemes being warmly welcomed as a way of obtaining cheap products and ensuring cast-offs go to a good home.

However, paying for plastic bags, an idea pioneered by Marks & Spencer made the most hated list. The idea was meant to save millions of bags ending up in landfill, but some shoppers now complain that they are left with a mountain of "bags for life" cluttering up their kitchens.

The innovations of that have contributed the most in the last 10 years

1. Home broadband

2. Online shopping

3. Google

4. Chip and Pin

5. Digital cameras/photography

6. Online comparison sites

7. Community Recycling

8. Health labelling on foods

9. Low-cost air travel

10. Consumer GPS/Sat-Nav

The innovations of that have contributed the least in the last 10 years

1. Reality TV

2. Facebook and similar

3. Pop-up advertising

4. Twitter

5. IVR/Interactive voice response on telephones

6. Congestion charging

7. Paid-for plastic bags

8. DVD membership schemes (e.g. Lovefilm)

9. Tracker mortgages

10. Public bike schemes

© Telegraph.co.uk

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