Making Technology Appropriate
I admit it’s something of a confusing phrase, but “making technology appropriate” is the most accurate concise wording I can distill my overall vision into.
Our society tends to think that just because something can be done, just because it is technologically possible, that therefore it should be done. The phrase “appropriate technology” typically is used only in regard to less-developed countries. I believe this is unfortunate, as we all could benefit from being more conscientious in our use of technology. Witness the problems the First World is running into with how social media has facilitated the spread of false information.
“Making technology appropriate” can mean a number of things, but generally it involves one or more of the following:
- Understanding and respecting the client and his or her needs.
- Writing the appropriate software for a given application, neither overly simple (and thus insufficient for its purpose), nor overly complex.
- Selecting and adapting existing technologies to best suit a particular purpose.
- Furnishing the documentation and training necessary for technologies to be effectively used.
- Being unafraid to buck the conventional wisdom and reject a proposed technology if upon reflection it seems inappropriate for its proposed use.