We are all creating monsters even if we do not know it, and we too have the power to make them disappear. If you are feeling slightly overwhelmed these days with all the craziness in the world and you really don’t know what you can do about it. That is precisely the reason I am sharing this.
We are so powerful. We have more tools, resources, and information than ever before. All of this is power in our hands. Every action we take adds up to millions of other people taking a stand for what they want and believe in. What we do, say, and choose matters.
So why are we creating monsters and how can we fix this?
I’ll let you in on a little secret that Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs didn’t know. And if they did, they chose not to pay attention to it. Zuckerberg and Jobs didn’t sit in their dorm-room or garage and think: “One day I will be super rich with this project and I will mess up the world with my project”. Zuckerberg didn’t say: “One day I will be hacked and have millions of users complaining about their safety.” Jobs didn’t say “One day my phone will pollute the world because everyone will keep buying the newest model and throwing the other one in the trash.” Just like Coca Cola didn’t start bottling their product to become one of the world’s biggest polluter. That IS a fact.
This is what I call the Frankenstein Phenomenon, and many of us take part in it when we are creating something.
Anywhere from songs, to businesses, and technology, we have been taught to create whatever we CAN. Nothing is impossible. We can make anything happen. And so, we develop programs, content, businesses, products, applications, platforms, and such. However, in this process we rarely stop and think: What if this works? What if this is a success?
We spend so much time figuring out how to make it work, that we leave little to no room to what happens when it does. So once the monster is alive… If it causes trouble, if it destroys something, if it hurts someone… We claim we didn’t know it could happen. How could we, right? This was new. No one had ever thought of dealing with this problem, because it didn’t exist.
So, we started using fossil fuels, and didn’t think the whole world would be using them. We created plastic and never thought that it would kill nature and end up in the ocean. We composed songs with hate speech demeaning women or promoting hate and violence, and thought they were just fun. It isn’t like people are going to listen to them all day or take them seriously, right?
We created digital platforms that connected the whole world, where people would trust us with their personal information, but could not imagine someone would misuse them. We created clothes, and gadgets and told everyone they needed “the newest” and “the latest”, but never imagined they would throw the others to the trash. Right? We created a world focused on making more money to spend in more things, but rarely did we stop to think about how happy, healthy, and connected people would be. Or did we? Did we know better? Did we choose to look away because it was too uncomfortable to face our responsibility?
The truth is, we now know this, and we cannot look away anymore:
The newest iPhone is trash.
Yes, the newest iPhone, and that pair of shoes, and the container and bags you’re disposing after using them for a couple of minutes.
Facebook is Frankenstein on the loose.
Facebook is Frankenstein on the loose, beyond its makers control. You do not make a monster bigger. Facebook does not need to make more money and get more users, it just needs to keep people safe when they use it.
Now we know that we are creating monsters. We cannot say ‘nobody told me’ or ‘I didn’t see it coming’. Even if you’re innovating from scratch, and no one has ever thought about doing what you’re doing. You know! If you stop for a couple of minutes and analyze what you’re doing, you will see it. That project you’re developing or that thing you’re creating.
Who is it going to hurt and who will benefit from it?
It does not necessarily mean that you stop yourself from creating or innovating. It just means you have to step up to the challenge, and know what you’re causing. If it will hurt someone or something in the beginning, and it is unavoidable… Then… How will you make it better? What will be the first step you’ll take to make sure it helps more than it hurts?
If you want to learn more about the Frankenstein Phenomenon and other ways in which our innovative and tech-loaded mindsets have shaped our reality, please read my book “Caught In Between”.