Digital dreams, digital nightmares

Date of publication: March 1, 2005


Author: Ben Lovejoy


Digital dreams: we live in a bright, clean world where every need is served by technology. Everything is automated and personalised to individual needs. Intelligent networks have learned to anticipate needs, and our social lives are unbounded by geography. Digital nightmares. Downtime no longer exists- people, as well as technology, are 'always on'. We no longer speak to human beings: everything is automated. Data-mining invades every aspects of our lives - no snippit of information goes unexploited. Privacy becomes a quaint concept in a world of ID cards, smartchips, biometric passports, GPS tracking systems and facial recognition. The impact of IT, Telecoms and the Internet is not always positive. Technology can also make our lives harder rather than easier; increasing the amount of stress in our lives, having an enormous impact on the way we live our lives. If we are to succeed in researching, developing and marketing new technologies, we need to be mindful of the fact that every new technology unveiled holds both a promise and a threat. This paper looks at four of these consumer digital dreams and digital nightmares.

Ben Lovejoy


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