I recently stumbled across this tweet:
And although I can see it's intention I do think that I somewhat disagree on that.I also understand that there is naturally the ambiguous nature of concepts like 1st gen. and 2nd gen of tech. But as I understand it it means the generations of digital technologies and the internet. It could just as well mean the generation of cars of the old and contemporary cars. It would not make that huge a difference.
If we look at the internet in it's 1st generation, I would say that was a real time of personalization and humanization of the internet. Learning to script your way through to get your first web page showing, or starting a blog with LiveJournal or movable type felt, and was personalization in the internet at it's best. It was before the internet was monetized. (and maybe I am just old fool who thinks everything was better back when.) True it did take effort to get something to the web. But that is part of human experience. If I just hit a sticker to a piece of paper and call it my painting, I rarely have the feeling of accomplishment. (Unless it's an artistic statement on fine art of course.)
Now the second gen of internet offers as a "web 2.0", social media and the like. It is so easy to write and share. And we even have stickers now on Facebook!
By making something easy is not humanizing or personalizing.
Under all this machinery that makes this easy are large corporation collecting and mining our personal data. To probably be sold to marketing firms. Or in the case of Google or Facebook to be used as a value to offer to marketers to get into their platforms.
And if we don't talk about the internet, but tech at large. Then the 1st gen wins there too. With a little knowledge or with a book from the library we could, if we wanted, fix our cars, clocks, radios, phones even. But now it's almost impossible.
If we think how new tech with smart watches and smartphones brings us personalisation and humanization, we have to realize that at the same time they bring the opposite. Algorithms that suggest you new music, new exercises, new restaurants are just bunch of code. All that may be happening is that we are left in a filter bubble instead of hearing something little (or lot) out of our comfort zone - And maybe end up liking it.
I would agree that the fight we are having right now is to bring humanization back to the tech. But I wouldn't say it's a fight against the first generation, It's the fight against corporations and to the whole attitude of tech industry: What is needed is not new solutions by engineers, but civic engagement and realization. Like Sherry Turkle said in her book "Alone Together" we must realize that the internet and digital technologies are not done and ready but they are in their youth. We need to take a step back and think what we want and need from technology.
It also very well may be that I have misunderstood the tweet completely wrong, which is so common in the era of trying to say something in little space and as quick as possible. But I got to write this nevertheless.