Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rude Technology

I heard the author of this book interviewed on local public radio today.
While talking about various subjects that are brought up in his book, the interviewer asked the author about if we are generally more rude now than we were fifty or one hundred years ago. He made an interesting comment...
Technology has made it easier for culture to be shaped and emerge as new. We certainly have more opportunity to accidentally violate emerging or new rules we are not familiar with. It does not mean we care less about civility and conformity now than we did before.

It made me realize that this is a reason why I am typically slow to fully adopt and engage some technologies. I don't know the rules, and I don't want to thought of as rude. Interestingly enough, the longer I stay away from an emerging technology, the more I am prone to be defined as rude by the early and mainstream adopters who have already begun to establish what is and is not civil.

My default rule of thumb has been to stay out, observe, glean the most redeemable parts of the technology, use it without being owned by it, and be willing to be called rude.

Now that I'm actively experimenting with this stuff--- I guess I'm inadvertently helping to shape the civility.

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