NOTE: This started as a Tweetstorm, but ended up a blog post because it was too long.
Some of my brief criticisms of technology… first of which, technology doesn’t just “happen” to society, society must accept it.
To say that “resisting” new technology from happening, or that it will become part of the fabric of society is complete lunacy.
We determine that, not some marketing company or technology-based corporate monolith. Next, not all technology is “good” or useful for society, but not all of it is “bad” or useless either.
We determine what is useful, what is “good” … and what is “bad” as it pertains to our use of technology.
The mainstream media does not determine that, although it seems to help, but in the end, the people of our society determine the “good” or “bad” technologies, and also determine the acceptance of those technologies.
Notice the common element so far; you, me, everyone … not corporations, not marketing, not the Government … it’s us.
If we don’t want a particular wearable tech (like Google Glass), we don’t have to accept it just because a company puts their “heart and soul” into producing it.
If we don’t want “junk” apps (like Yo), those that solve no real problem and more specifically litter the “apps-phere” with more garbage … then you, me, and others have a duty to reject it.
Again, the power lies with us.
Any company that produces some type of technology will obviously try to make it sound like it’s the best thing since sliced bread … like it’s going to change the world or improve your life.
I’m not criticizing the production of that tech, but I am asking we turn up our “internal filters” a bit (actually, a LOT).
I’m suggesting this because I think we need to focus more on problem-solving technologies, the true “world-changing” stuff, because I think our talent (and there is a TON of talent) is being wasted in the big picture on stuff that doesn’t move society forward.
The people who evangelize technological progress will almost always tell us “this tech IS going to happen, resisting it will prove to be futile in the end.” (Michael Sacasas calls this the “Borg Complex“)
They are wrong.
The people who feel that most technological progress is a “bad” thing are wrong too.
This is because some technologies are actually useful, aimed at solving problems that have big implications for our planet, our people, and to help avoid our extinction as a species (yes we are animals).
The answer lies somewhere in the “middle” … between the utopian viewpoint, and the dystopian viewpoint.
From this point forward, we have to think critically about our technological progress each and every day.
Because there are institutions that would rather have us sitting on the couch, consuming ads and eating bon-bons (like Comcast, as one example).
But there are also people and institutions that are working hard to move our society forward as well. Pay closer attention to those. Don’t become another mindless drone.
And, don’t fall victim to what I call the Technology Numbing Effect.
Thanks for reading.