Sean Rad, Former Tinder CEO
“Our industry does not respect tradition. It only respects innovation. (Farber 2014: o.S.), is how Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, aptly expresses the dogma of the digitised society of the 21st century lived by tech companies. Digitalisation is progressing steadily and only a few areas of human everyday life have remained untouched by this development. Nadella predicted in 2013: “Over the next 10 years, we’ll reach a point where nearly everything will become digitised.” (Nadella/Meisner 2013: n.d.) This advancing digital technologisation is based on data that networks objects, feeds algorithms and monitors human behaviour. This data collection means that every person has his or her own digital “file” in which everything he or she has ever done on the internet is recorded. (Fry 2019: 46f.)
Most people know that their personal data is being collected and used and, after a long period of habituation, react with resignation resulting from ignorance and helplessness. (Zuboff 2018: 26) As this work will show, this is partly due to the apparent lack of alternatives and reliance on the services of GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) (Fry 2019)). What makes it difficult to build a productive discourse is the opposition of entrepreneurs like Na-della, who propagate progress and dogmatic innovation, and, on the other hand, insufficiently enlightened and passive users.
One way of criticising and addressing this can be the method of speculative design. Speculative design is used especially for complex, difficult to communicate or scientific-technological topics. (Dunne/Raby 2018: 50, 58) The advantage is that it does not work on a purely informational level, but via interaction. Complex problems can be made directly tangible with the help of Speculative Design. (Malpass 2017: 41)