Tech Culture: What YOU Had To Say

A few days ago, I asked the beautiful crowdsource whether they thought tech culture, however they perceive it or experience it, was an overall positive or negative. We didn’t get as many responses as previous crowdsource posts, but thank you to everyone who submitted! The overall sentiment seems to be ambiguous — most can see both the harms and benefits that arises out of tech culture.

Here’s what y’all had to say:

To put it lightly, some aren’t too pleased with what tech culture brings to the table:

Of course tech breeds certain levels of innovation, but my honest opinion? Stupid apps like Snapchat or sites like Pinterest, as well as an overemphasis on technology in the U.S. just PAVE THE WAY for a culture of laziness, hyper-dependence upon technology, a neglect of real life/friendships and human interaction, and gradually a greater level of inequality between states with tech superiority and those without (complicating development). This is only a VERY BRIEF summary of my feelings but they are all things I very sincerely believe in. I think people in the U.S. in particular need a lot less than they think they do. Lamentably, the ongoing tech revolution/generation breeds a belief in dependence upon technology as the norm, with little regard for a life of simplicity. So many feelings, not enough space to air all my grievances — Anonymous, age 21, lots of friends in tech

 

Tech culture needs to be dismantled so that we can restore radical empathy and community care. — Anonymous, observer of tech culture

 

Sexist, racist kids who got bullied in high school who think they’re oppressed. They ruin my life as a resident of SF. — Anonymous, age 16, SF resident

 

One of you defended your colleagues in tech:

Obviously nobody likes assholes flaunting wealth, but after having worked in several start ups, the majority of people I meet are not like that. They go to their jobs, don’t buy overly expensive goods, and are seeking the same things most people are. I imagine a lot of them are going through existential crisis wondering how they are going to make a difference in the world when they are stuck cold calling to sell HR software. —Anonymous, age 22, start-up co-founder

 

But for the most part, people see tech culture as a mix of both the good and the bad:

There is the over gentrification, entitlement, etc etc. But, it also allows for more resources in certain areas, like free coding lessons to at risk youths (Black Founders) and the chance for more opportunities for these individuals to rise. But these conversations aren’t being had and the negative really outweighs the positive most of the time (think: recent Mission soccer field video, predominance of certain majorities, gentrification). —M, age 22, works in tech, surrounded by tech, try to outreach to minority populations in tech

 

Tech culture is good because its modernizing our country. We’re creating new innovative ways to reach sustainable development but we’re also promoting gentrification. —Anonymous, age 20, observer of tech culture

 

As someone whose job is to look at, think about, and write about the tech industry on a daily basis, and having spent my teen years in Silicon Valley (engineer dad), I definitely see a lot of group think and homogeneity that’s making it toxic, entitled, delusional, and a bit out of touch. With that said, there are so many great things that have come from technology and even positives to the culture, so it’s not entirely fair to demonize it. —K.K., age 24, tech news writer

 

Tech positively contributes to growth and change in society. Tech culture, as it manifests as youthful arrogance and dissociation, does not. — J.T., age 23, has friends who work in tech

 

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