November 2, 2012
New Tech: Either We Shrug at It or We Freak Out
Clive Thompson, Wired
As anyone who reads the news knows, there’s often a side effect to new technologies: moral panic. Facebook causes narcissism! Texting is making us illiterate! But the funny thing is, other technologies don’t provoke such alarm. Take Square, a tool that lets everyday folks accept credit card payments. It’s tipping into mainstream usage, changing how small businesses operate and how friends split a bar bill, but it hasn’t provoked any doomsaying.
What’s the difference? Why do we freak out at some technologies and shrug at others?