Keeping technology at bay

As long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by technology. I can still remember the thrill of trying to catch a glimpse of the first video game ever in a room full of boys. There on the smallest TV screen possible an older kid was playing Bazooka Bill. Everyone was excited and anxious to don’t miss a thing although no one other than the one playing could actually see what was happening.

After this the game consoles followed, and later the Commodore home computer series, and with that my first go at coding. What a magic thrill it was to be able to instruct the computer where to look and where to go and what to display.

But I was then as I am now very careful to not let technology swallow me whole, to fully baptise me into it’s eternal religion. It is important for me to be able to keep technology at bay, to watch it from afar and to try to grasp its influence and the way it transforms our behaviour, communication and social life. Though most of my work has required me to understand, construct and develop different complex technical implementations I have always tried to keep my head above the seducing waves of technology and steer the ship towards the users experience instead: What is what we’re creating really good for? Who is going to use it, and why?

In my view technology should never be a goal in itself. If no one wants to or can’t use it efficiently it immediately becomes pointless. There is no room for bad technology in todays tech savvy society.

Don’t get me wrong. I am truly fascinated by future scenarios of society and culture, science fiction and tech-centred subjects as singularity, transhumanism, nanotechnology and the future of interaction, but I want to analyse both what we can gain from this technological inventions and processes and what we could lose by adopting them and also which power players influence humanity towards different goals.

I believe that the future of communication will be more integrated in our humanity (something I will try to describe further in my next post), more seamless and less disruptive of human culture. Technology can be a powerful tool. If you use it wisely.

Recommended read regarding this: A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute