Another dot in the blogosphere?

Do not fall for such technology

Posted on: August 17, 2015

This video is an ad. As an ad, it does not paint the whole picture. In fact, it is designed to deceive.

Video source

Most people will connect emotionally with the message it delivers: Disconnect from technology in order to reconnect with each other socially.

But that is an old and unnecessary message. People have been ignoring each other since it was possible to look occupied in a different part of the tree with a stick or the cave with a stone.

The ad is also manipulative. The makers of the technology-blocker do not point out that they are using one set of technologies to prevent another from working.

There is a cheaper, technology-free, and longer term solution. It is called making and keeping social contracts.

The ad makers want you to buy a product that presumes that you must start with an external locus of control (the disconnector) in order to create an internal locus of control (the desire to socialize). They fail to address reality when their product conveniently goes missing, if a link in their system breaks, or when people find workarounds.

Making and keeping social contracts might not work immediately. They are designed for the long run. You might use both the technological and social solutions to address a socio-technical problem, but you have to decide what you want to rely on over the long term.

The makers of this product remind me of many vendors of educational “solutions”. You might know who they are or you might be one of them. Check what applies:

  • No or little experience with learners or pedagogy.
  • Do not speak the language of educators.
  • Presume to understand teachers, schooling, and education based on own experiences.
  • Make broad, unsubstantiated claims on superficial understanding of educational psychology or complex research.
  • Offer technological solutions that only work like hammers and where every problem, no matter how diverse or systemic, becomes a nail.
  • Sound sincere, but ultimately wish to address quarterly profit or non-educational KPIs.
  • Claim to believe in one thing, but operate in another.

To the consumer I say: You are smarter than that.

To the irresponsible vendors I say: I will do my utmost to nurture an even smarter leader, teacher, learner, parent, etc.

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