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“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,” said….. Ashley as she sits in front of her computer contemplating deleting her Facebook account. She, like many others, is grappling with the decision to actively exclude herself from the Facebook community.

“Why shouldn’t I use it?”

“What am I going to miss out on if I stop using it?”

“Well what if I just use it differently, would that solve my problem?”

All of the above questions are easily applicable to technologies other than Facebook as well. “Why shouldn’t I use: an iPhone, Twitter, tablet, GoPro, etc.?” Individuals who, like Ashley, consciously choose not to use certain technologies, media or otherwise, are participating in technology rejection.

Technology rejection is a prevalent movement wherein individuals “strategically ‘opt out’ of using overwhelmingly prevalent technologies,” (Marwick, 2011).

Consider technologies you use in your every day life, how easily could you opt out of using it? What consequences would you face if you chose to stop using it?

Now, to provide an alternative point of view to the social media perspective, consider important technologies that are often overlooked, under appreciated, or unacknowledged, for example:

  • traffic lights
  • electronic banking systems
  • printers
  • car manufacturing machines

How easily could society opt out of using the above technologies? What are some of the consequences society would face if we chose to stop using them?

An example of an organization practicing technology rejection, more specifically media refusal,  is the 2010 FIFA World Cup controversy. To provide context, referees at the 2010 FIFA World Cup ruled “no goal” on the first potential goal of the game and shortly following the ruling on the field an instant replay was shown on televisions in the stadium showing otherwise. The video below gives a brief description of the situation but addresses the question “should technology be used in Football?”


As noted in the video, the head of FIFA was initially against and refused to allow the use of goal line technology “because it will undermine the credibility of a referee,” despite the obvious benefits of implementing the technology. After a strong call for goal-line technology, FIFA decided to begin testing its accuracy and later approved, certified, installed and put it to use.

In this example, refusing technology was not in the best interest of the organization. At what point do you think refusing technology would not be in your best interest?

Rejecting Technology

Sources:

Marwick, A. (2011, August 11). “if you don’t like it, don’t use it. its that simple.” orly?. Retrieved from http://socialmediacollective.org/2011/08/11/if-you-dont-like-it-dont-use-it-its-that-simple-orly/

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