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Do you think technological progress has made us less humane?

From Silicon Valley to ISIS

Stoyan Mitov

Hacker at work image via Shutterstock

Programing languages are the must knowns today – and Java is one of the most popular languages. Did you know that there were more than 16,000 job offerings for java developers on any given day this year? It’s a great skill to have. It helps us write programs that make the communication between machines possible. If one wants to feel safe in the current job market he/she must learn Java or any other popular software language.

Our world is driven, even disrupted by technology. We are progressing so fast that the most powerful computer 20 years ago is not as powerful as the iPhone in your pocket. Thanks to this progress we are more connected than ever – Twitter updates us on what is happening NOW in most of the world, Facebook keeps us close to our friends and WhatsApp allows us to text & call for free with anyone anywhere.

All the above is huge, isn’t it? However, why am I not feeling better, more secure or better informed nowadays? Is it because Europe is covered in fear from terrorists, Middle East is kind of a mess and US on a weekly basis speaks about a mass murderer in local schools? I’m not an expert, but I’ll share some thoughts with you as a world citizen, on which will be great to read your opinion.

Our world is driven by technological progress. Technological progress is made possible by the tech savvy people behind it. And where do most of the tech disrupters come from? They come from the Silicon Valley. As we all know, Silicon Valley is driven by the geeks’ culture. So what is a geek (please help here)? The definition in Wikipedia is: an unfashionable or socially inept person. These are people that aren’t very extrovert. People that are not very good in communicating with other people.

These are maybe the reasons that led to all the social medias such as Facebook, Tinder, WeChat…. Why? Because in social media there is always a machine as a proxy between two people. Geeks are comfortable communicating with machines but not with other people. Through social media you avoid the painful face to face rejection. You send an invite and you can make an introduction where you don’t care so much about the NO answer as it’s not very hard to receive it if you don’t see the person.

What about the SMS thing in the US. Why do Americans prefer to communicate with messages, rather than just call the person. It’s simple, and not that it’s free, but that speaking with someone you must be more involved, feel the temper in the voice, listen to the person, and you may HEAR some rejection.

Let’s mention video game mania. In South Korea children are obsessed with video games, which the government passed a law restricting the hours kids could play games. Most popular games are the ones like WOW and Dota where you can select an animated hero and play in an imaginative world. Why don’t you play in the real world? Because the real world is harder, tougher, and you are required to communicate with real people. In these games you can be a fake, better self.

Maybe we are more connected but we are losing the real closeness between us. How is it possible that Greek guards try to drown the refugees and not save them. How is it possible that young Europeans kill dozens of people in Bataclan with eyes blank without a wince? ISIS is recruiting some of their most violent soldiers via internet. Anonymous declared war on them – a cyber-war. But be sure that ISIS isn’t playing a game but kill real people with real guns. Hope anonymous won’t just behave as hackers but take it seriously as ISIS do. Here a question appears: We are more connected but are we safer?

We are bombarded with information and to avoid burn out we’ve started to marginalize and ignore things. But why are we ignoring people more and more just to spend our time with a machine? Do you think the technology progress made us less humane?

As I said the above are just my thoughts provoked by what is happening currently in the world and my recent trips to the US, France, Spain and Bulgaria.

Best,
Stoyan

Author
Stoyan Mitov
Stoyan Mitov is a co-founder of Grajdanite.bg (#1 App at the Apple Store Bulgaria) and a fellow at Dreamix Ltd. He is an entrepreneur with expertise in product development and community building who is working closely with startups from the Silicon Valley and Europe. Graduate from Draper University and the American University in Bulgaria.

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