📺 You can watch my spoken word rendition of this post on TikTok or YouTube, or close your eyes and listen to the audio-only version on SoundCloud. 🎧

Can you imagine how different our phones and other devices would be if they weren’t designed in Silicon Valley, where the individual is the center of the universe, where winning is always the goal?

Can you imagine how our mindsets would shift if our apps didn’t care about crushing it and smashing it, and replaced leaderboards with collaborative sessions?

If our phones stayed silent when we’re together and don’t need to be nudged to buy more of the stuff we don’t need.

What kind of apps would we build if we didn’t have to fund our own existence and could instead spend more time building what we care about? Would we even build apps or just spend more time with each other, exploring and learning together?

What if our phones, these magical little computing devices, actually helped us to learn more about the world around us, instead of being a distraction from boredom, a way to escape discomfort.

I do love the way we can now learn from different perspectives and collaborate across timezones, but why are we only doing it under the guise of productivity or by risking the wrath of trolls?

Why is it all for profit, public discussion a place to vent frustrations, why are comments so toxic, and why is it that we cannot have nice things on the internet?

Why are we measured, compared, disliked, pitied against each other by algorithms that try to keep us glued to our screens, selling our attention to the highest bidder?

There’s values baked into the operating systems and devices we use every day. And there are other ways to think about the world where the individual is not the center of the universe and profit not the only guiding force of innovation.

Let’s make the collective decision to question the assumptions, and build technology that empowers rather than divides, that invites collaboration rather than competition, that supports thriving rather than winning.