Archive for July, 2016

Technology is a great liberator but it’s also a great oppressor

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

I got some kind of group invite through my email account which didn’t work properly because the operating system on my computer is too old to deal with it. I only discovered it was an invite when someone replied ‘to all’ confirming they could make the date.

I persist with my old computer because

  • it still does everything I need to do on it
  • I don’t buy into the consumerist ideology of having the latest thing just because it is the latest thing.
  • I’m conscious of unnecessary waste

Unfortunately, not everyone has these criteria and nor would I expect everyone to have them, that would be unreasonable. So why then do most people in industry think that everyone is using the same level of technology that they are? I don’t use a smartphone because I don’t want to volunteer all my information to whoever can hack into it.. This makes me some kind of Luddite in the eyes of most people.

What happens next though is really interesting. Smartphone users (I’m using this generalised label purely for demonstration purposes) assume everyone in their demographic has a smartphone and behaves accordingly; they use the technology available on the phone. This means if you don’t have a smartphone, you’re excluded from lots of functions. Eventually, the divide will become so great that the smartphone users will literally use a different language to non smartphone users.

What you then have is fractured and marginalised groups in a society that moves in a direction further away from ‘community’.

Part of me knows that this is a deliberate ploy by manufacturers to a) sell more product and b) to maintain the learned helplessness in the consumers.

I’m aware that there are some people who don’t even have internet access. I can’t even begin to imagine how disadvantaged they are in society.

Technology is a great liberator but it’s also a great oppressor.