In a balanced world, the digital revolution has the potential to make us all more informed, wealthier, and, in some ways, happier. After all, technology has a proven track record of expanding human capabilities, produce new opportunities, and increase productivity. We just need to make sure that it will benefit the many, not just the few, and that requires upholding our democracy.
Jamie Bartlett, keynote speaker at IWDK last year, has 20 ideas to save democracy in his book, The People Vs Tech. Here’s three that you can implement today.
#1 Fight distraction
Think of every micro-gesture online as a political statement that can have an impact. Try to plan your personal time spend on the internet and social media, include switch-off times and stop the endless scroll on your feed. This will make make you a more alert citizen.
#2 Smash your echo chamber
Make a deliberate effort to break out of your echo chamber by seeking alternative information sources, joining new Facebook groups or creating different feeds. Place yourself in the position of someone unlike yourself, and always remember the golden rule of the internet: no one is ever as annoying in real life as they seem online.
#3 Break the ad model
If you’re not paying, you’re the product. It is your responsibility to evaluate your free digital services – look for greater transparency and use services that don’t collect and sell personal data, strengthen your privacy settings and download ad-blockers (consider more paid-for premium systems).