Scared of technology? I’m looking for you!

Nick Hilton
3 min readMar 27


Love tech, hate how fast it’s moving: I’m looking for you!

I can’t pinpoint exactly the moment when I started to fear technology. It might have been the first time an AI forced my entire professional career to flash before my eyes, but it might have been earlier.

As someone working in digital media, I’ve been conscious of a hunger within the technology industry. Not the natural hungry of the day — the hunger that I will soon be feeling once my morning hot cross bun wears off — but the sort of rapacious consumerism that has typified modern capitalism. That hunger has driven innovations that have lifted people out of poverty (even if it hasn’t, as much as the philanthropy bros might want to pretend, done anything for inequality) and built the world as we know it. This MacBook that I’m typing on, this website that hosts my musings, the very internet that brings me into communion with you, reader.

All of these things were built by a hunger. But there is also a hunger that yells for more, constantly. Banks become bigger, more integral, multi-national corporations incorporate more and more nations. Companies hire thousands of people, burn through venture capital money and salt the earth for their bootstrapped competitors. The belief, apparently, is that if a company is not becoming bigger — a product becoming more ubiquitous — it is not just stagnating but actively dying.

At the heart of this, technology is a dangerous subset. I look at TikTok, which is, on the surface, nothing more than a boring short-form video sharing app. But it also has an internal purpose that fears me: it wants people to spend the maximum amount of time possible on TikTok. This is a purpose that provides no value to the consumer; in point of fact, it offers the opposite. But TikTok is far from the only company with this purpose (it’s just one of the most effective). Almost every product is governed by a desire to ensnare its audience, to push them into more and more time with the service. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Why are we letting this happen?

So its not just the metaverse and AI — two, much written about, ideas that will push humans further from humanity — that are scary. It’s everything from household hardware and software to individual websites.

So, here’s the thing: I want to start a project to encourage good technology. Think of it as a sort-of anti-technology technologism. I’m not asking the world to retreat to caves, commune with butterflies and hear nothing but the rush of water through a babbling brook. I want to keep my computer, my phone, my PlayStation, my smart-watch, my car. But I want to puncture the idea that more technology equals better technology. If technology does not serve a social purpose, does not enhance our ability to be in the world (or, worse, erodes it), then we shouldn’t let the accountants win. Raw capitalism here is at odds with the simple ambition to live well.

I’m still not entirely sure what form this project is going to take — podcast? videos? underground gazette? graffiti? — but I want to do something. I love listening to podcasts like Hard Fork and Pivot and hearing this exciting cynicism about tech and power; but I think the movement has to be more foundational. It’s not always about regulating ourselves out of a mess, but trying to philosophically avoid the quagmire in the first place.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, please get in touch. My email is and you can also contact me on Twitter. I am particularly keen to hear from people who have more experience in technology, who aren’t just gobshites like me who couldn’t code a potato clock.



Nick Hilton

Writer. Media entrepreneur. London. Interested in technology and the media. Co-founder Email: