Rage Against The Machine

It’s a snowy TunesDay here at the world headquarters.  What better to play to go with the peaceful, falling snow than Rage Against The Machine?  I’m not a fan of winter and even less so of snow, so the name of the band sounds appropriately disturbed.  If you want to join me in venting a little early winter energy, be my guest:

That’s called Know Your Enemy and it’s very typical of the band’s music and lyrics. As they do in this song, they frequently call for people to wake up and take action:

I’ve got no patience now
So sick of complacence now

and later on:

Yes I know my enemies
They’re the teachers who taught me to fight me
Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
All of which are American dreams

So what possible place does this have in a business blog?  I mention it in the context of the latest report from JWTIntelligence which contains something I find both hopeful and disturbing at the same time:

In our ninth annual forecast of trends for the near future, we see how consumers are both welcoming and resisting technology’s growing omnipresence in our lives. For many, technology serves as a gateway to opportunity and an enabler of hyper-efficient lifestyles, but those who are most immersed are starting to question its effect on their lives and their privacy. One result is that more people are trying to find a balance and lead more mindful, in-the-moment lives.

Hopeful in that it’s good that people are beginning to understand that while technology can and does improve our lives it can come with some significant drawbacks.  The disturbing part is that this understanding will make using that technology in a business context ever more challenging.  Consumers are realizing that Big Data’s essentially putting an end to anonymity.  They might be feeling  technology’s effect on their attention spans.  You’ve felt it, I’m sure. That means your customers have as well.

What does it mean as users “know their enemy” and confront it as RATM suggests?  Is there an opportunity for companies to practice what I’ll call ethical tech – the use of technology that’s respectful of the user and helps them maintain balance?  Technology is what it is – those of us who deploy it are the ones that make that determination.  Will we set users up to rage against the machines?  Your call.

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Filed under digital media, Reality checks, Thinking Aloud

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