There’s an unsettling new poll in the news this morning that shows very clearly how important 7CTOs is to the tech community specifically and the future of America and the world at large.
According to a new survey commissioned by PBS, the country is pretty much split half-and-half about whether technology is making people smarter or dumber, as well as just about the same split about whether the benefits of technology are worth the risks that accompany it.
The findings disturb us, but we’re not all that surprised by them, either. In the same way that each human has a choice between good and evil, people who create technology are walking that same razor’s edge, and users walk the same path. You can spend hours on Wikipedia seeking enlightenment, or tool through Reddit’s r/watchpeopledie for reality snuff videos. The choice is yours.
So can you blame roughly half of Americans for feeling that technology is, at best, a double-edge sword, or, at worst, a deal with the devil. Technology has made many jobs easier, no question, but it hasn’t made our work days any shorter, and it has all but removed the boundary between business and personal because we’re “always on.” Moreover, people are seeing their jobs disappear as some technologies replace the human worker. Anxiety in that kind of environment is understandable.
What’s super-surprising is that the younger the survey respondent, the more dubious they are of technology’s benefits: Millennials (53%) and Gen Xers (53%) were more likely than Baby Boomers (48%) and the Silent/Greatest generation (38%) to say technology makes us less intelligent.
Some of this may be the nostalgic “grass is greener” mentality, where people who’ve grown up with technology think the “good ol’ days” were better (like all things, they both were and weren’t). But it may also be that people who’ve grown up in our tech-centric age just aren’t that happy -- though there may be other reasons for that, as well.
All we know is that polls like this only reinforce our belief that 7CTOs is urgently needed in these times. Keeping the human-element centric to every decision and creating socially aware and interpersonally skilled tech execs will help ensure the world we are creating is less scary and more beneficial to all society.