Weekly Stories

The urgent need for positive technology

Reported by Lauren Sharkey on Oct 11, 2018 9:49:25 AM

Technology has pervaded our lives. And it’s never going to go away. Those two statements are fact. But what humans have finally had enough of are websites and apps that steal their information and use it for their own selfish means, rather than for the greater good.


Certain social media platforms have recently come under fire for breaching ethical guidelines, causing some consumers to simply switch off and look elsewhere. The ideal ‘elsewhere’ is a company that prioritises the needs of its audience before its own; one that makes a conscious effort to make a positive contribution to the planet.

How companies can take control of their own destinies and simultaneously reach out to consumers will make up the keynote panel at the Decoded Future New York Summit. Held on November 2, the discussion will feature three key players in the mindful technology field: Pinterest’s head of market development, Vikram Bhaskaran, The Trevor Project’s chief of staff, Sam Dorison, and the founder of Mindful Tech, Liza Kindred.

Pinterest is a great example of a social media-esque platform that hasn’t crossed the line. Its understated approach has earned it a good rating among US citizens with a recent YouGov survey finding that women in particular had a highly positive opinion of the company.

Since starting in 2010, it has slowly grown to become a safe haven for people who are looking to become part of a community focused on sharing life-enhancing ideas. The content isn’t harmful or abusive but still encourages sales. More to the point, it’s trustworthy.

Kindred’s Mindful Technology has a similar ethos. After working in the world of wearable technology, she realised that new innovations were failing to serve people. Through her work, she holds business workshops and partners with brands with the sole aim of building useful technology that respects people. This can include reducing the number of notifications that pop up on our screens every day, fostering human-to-human connection rather than tech-to-tech and just simpler less time-wasting products.

When it comes to The Trevor Project, it’s a whole different ball game. The non-profit organisation aims to prevent suicide among LGBTQ+ youth. It understands that young people are the most prevalent age group using technology and aims to involve itself in every platform to reach out to the most vulnerable. The organisation has also partnered with others to create the PowerOn initiative which gives homeless youth access to essential technology.

All of the above are using tech in completely different ways. But each is having a positive impact, no matter how big or small. They are transparent and honest, rather than shady and distracting. They act as guides, rather than dictators. To put it simply, they are the future of the overcrowded world.

Written by Lauren Sharkey
Image source: The Trevor Project

Topics: Weekly Stories

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