Tech cynicism

I’m tired of big tech. They get us hooked on their products. They track our every move, learning about our habits and interests along the way. They nudge us to buy things we don’t need. They feed us visions of a utopian future filled with smart devices and virtual assistants, but all I see are companies looking to control and monetize our lives.

I’m tired of all the startup companies, too. They say they’ll disrupt the status quo and make the world a better place, but they’re bound to the same capitalistic logic of growth, competition, and exploitation just like their bigger brothers. They always find a way to squeeze as much money from us as they can to make their investors happy. They always find a way to exploit their workers, too. If they don’t become big tech themselves, they get absorbed into one.

I’m tired of tech’s greenwashing. They pledge carbon neutrality or vow to remove carbon from the atmosphere, but they still create new phones, computers, and ever-growing data centers year in, year out. Their growth is a cancer eating away at our world.

Who owns the technology? Who does it enrich? Do we have any control over this technology? How will this technology control us? Who or what does this exploit? Who will this replace? How does this benefit us as a society?

The answers that I find when I ask these questions are often depressing.

I realize that a lot of these are found in other industries as well because we live in a capitalistic society. I think I’m just hyperaware of what’s going on in tech because I’ve worked there for a long time. I think it’s affecting me a lot because I used to be optimistic about technology. I used to think that the growth of the computer industry would make our lives better and propel us into the future.

Turns out it’s only making a few people’s lives better. or

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