Fear is powerful. And FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is potential the most powerful influencer. We are hard wired to want to be part of a ‘tribe’. There is part of our brain which views being part of a tribe as safe; a security measure. Even when it is not.
So we want to experiment and try new technology because we think everyone else is. We view it as a ‘must’ because we think others are doing it. We want to be part of the ‘cool kids’. We link it to relevance, telling ourselves that, if we don’t do X, we will be irrelevant. And then we add that because the technology exists, we must use it. And the ratchet turns.
We don’t want to be left behind, left alone, irrelevant. We want to be innovative, impactful, and use the best tools available. And we don’t intentional want to cause others harm.
And yet, we all have blind spots, bias. And already vulnerable people don’t need us ‘experimenting’ on them. (of course, we’d never call it that, we’re innovating).
Perhaps now more than ever we need humanitarian ethics review committees. We can be part of a tribe, but we can also be wise.
Photo by Alex Knight