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Sketchbook: Designing the Limit

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

If I send you a text message, I know your phone is on you. Therefore, you should respond immediately. If you don’t, I immediately have three assumptions: you’re asleep, you’re in a sticky situation, or your notifications are off. Unless you’re in one of these situations, my mind tells me I should receive a fairly instantaneous reply.

So maybe, our communication comes too easily. Technology has revolutionized our ability to connect so much that it’s affecting how we respond to society: I expect instant transactions, conversations, and responses.

I believe this new wave of technology also inspires a movement of conformity. In fourth grade, one boy got Facebook. The following week, everyone had one. We invited each other to play Farmville for free coins or posted “funny” photos. We were naive nine-year-olds. We thought we were only earning free coins, but we had also given our birthdays, names, and personal photos to the public sphere called the internet. I can still track my first post from Facebook, or the first video my friend posted of us singing “Call Me Maybe”. The internet doesn’t forget.

A new wave of communication has revolutionized our global culture and can never be undone. Impatience is an unfortunate adaptation that most humans have acquired. Our only option is to improve these new mediums so that they are more helpful than harmful.

Sarah Hendren writes in her essay “All Technology is Assistive” that as designers we must rethink our default ideas about inclusivity. As a society we have to incorporate the idea that technology needs to be made to help everyone, not just certain groups. Hendren also what’s people to rethink the intentions of certain inventions. With creative problem solving, current solutions can be modified and modeled to fit the society we live in today.

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