The dark side of technology is not a new topic. There are a myriad of books, articles, shows, and movies with a range of dystopian ideas. These ideas are usually produced by an over-reliance on technology and the internet.
Have you asked yourself on which side of this range your business falls?
Said another way, do you find that the technology, i.e. the websites or applications or even hardware, your business makes serves to help people, or does it provide another way for humans to bury themselves in the virtual world?
This can seem like a melodramatic question. Of course, your company’s website or application or software helps your customers, what else would it do?
But, how do you know the technology your company puts out is actually helping? Have you asked your customers directly or gone into their day-to-day lives and observed them using your technology? Have you sat in a room and mapped out all scenarios of use, good and bad, in an honest and non-defensive way?
We’re willing to bet you haven’t. And that’s not because you are inhumane or don’t care about your customers as people, but often businesses focus on serving the business first.
This means you’ve implemented said technology not because a customer said they needed it, but maybe because someone in the company ran the numbers and realized the increased ROI of having it. Or, maybe someone saw a competitor implement a similar strategy and they wanted to ensure the business kept pace.
Whatever the reason, by not starting with human needs, you can bet you’ve created technology that doesn’t serve humanity but instead uses humanity to serve its own business purposes.
Sound a little too much like something out of Black Mirror?
Where do you think they got the idea?