Some people look for technology to solve all their problems, and after they spend a lot of money, they realize that they have the same problems that they had before, and they get upset. 

Examples of this include:

  • People who think oil and coal cause pollution, and who ignore the fact that there are widespread human behaviors that are wasteful regardless of how clean the technology is;
  • Doctors who prescribe medication to treat patients who might benefit more from simple exercise (this one is more the fault of the patients, in my opinion); 
  • Amateur photographers who buy the latest full-frame, 21-megapixel pro-model camera from Canon, but who wouldn’t even read the guidebook for a Nikon D40;
  • Companies that focus on adding new features or “enhancements” to their software, rather than addressing the core reasons why people aren’t buying or using their software in the first place.

We’re on the verge of the 7th decade since the invention of the computer, and I know it’s heresy for a technologist to point people away from technology.  But to solve a problem, you need to know its cause.  And if you are honest with yourself about which of your problems can be solved by the latest innovations, then your quality of life will go up.

Will Marlow is the co-creator of AlumniFidelity, which helps schools and nonprofits improve their online fundraising results.  Email him at