Opting Out of Technology Will Be Very Difficult in the Future

While technology has become an integral part of everyday life, still some people refuse to engage. I know, it sounds crazy. But everyone single one of us knows at least one person that doesn’t have a Facebook, avoids SnapChat, and has been using a flip phone since 2001. However, with integration becoming more and more widespread, the ability to live in the woods without any technology is becoming harder and harder. And eventually, it’s going to be impossible.

The Pew Research Center talked to a huge number of experts in a study titled The Internet of Things Connectivity Binge: What Are The Implications? In part of the study, they focused specifically on the ability to opt out of technology as time goes on. And according to the experts, that ability will essentially disappear in the future.

If you’re interested in what they had to say about the topic, take a look at what they had to say below and start planning your unplugged getaway now, before it’s too late.

The Consumer Problem

“Even if individuals are concerned about the risks, they’ll find it difficult or impossible to opt out of these connections if they want to continue with the products or services they want and/or need,” said Mary K. Pratt, a freelance technology journalist.

A New Class

“Those who disconnect will end up as a class with diminishing resources. Information is king, and connectivity will power that,” said Dave McAllister, director at Philosophy Talk.

Digitally Tangled

“The grip of capitalist ecosystems – Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. – is strengthening the ability to connect multiple aspects of our lives online. It will be harder to disentangle from this system moving forward,” said Antero Garcia, assistant professor at Colorado State University.

Privilege of Disconnectedness 

“Disconnection from networks of capital and information generally come at a high price for individuals and even entire communities. As more parts of our lives become connected to the IoT, it seems likely that disconnection will become a privilege to those that can afford to, for example, forgo the savings on car insurance that come with agreeing to be tracked,” said David Banks, co-editor of Cyborgology

The New Norm

“It appears that vendors do not appreciate the dangers involved in IoT, and offerings that don’t incorporate connectivity are increasingly rare. … IoT is being pushed as the norm, and the majority of people do not seem to be aware of the hazards, so they are thus driving the market in that direction,” said Eugene H. Spafford, a professor at Purdue University and an expert in computer security issues.

Connected to Jobs

“The divide in capabilities between the most-connected and the least will define who gets the valuable jobs. Technology should be making life better too, not just more productive, so disconnecting will be opting out from those benefits; it will sabotage their abilities to get more out of life, like someone deciding not to learn how to read because they’re afraid they’ll read something dangerous to them,” said Ryan Hayes, owner of Fit to Tweet.

Opt Out, If You Can

“There is no opt-out for the internet. No one can disconnect. Algorithmic automation will create overly complex systems of communication, transportation, energy, finances, production, etc., that are no longer under control of anyone,” said David Krieger, director of the Institute for Communication & Leadership in Switzerland.

Read more about the future of automation on Tech.Co

Did you find this article helpful? Click on one of the following buttons
We're so happy you liked! Get more delivered to your inbox just like it.

We're sorry this article didn't help you today – we welcome feedback, so if there's any way you feel we could improve our content, please email us at contact@tech.co

Written by:
Conor is the Lead Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.
Explore More See all news
Back to top
close Building a Website? We've tested and rated Wix as the best website builder you can choose – try it yourself for free Try Wix today