Creative Digifest #SXSC2 Speaker Profile: Andrew Keen
October 3, 2012
by Lisa Harris
Andrew Keen is an Internet entrepreneur who founded Audiocafe.com in 1995 and built it into a popular first generation Internet company. He is currently the host of “Keen On” show, the popular Techcrunch chat show, a columnist for CNN and a regular commentator for many other newspapers, radio and television networks around the world. He is also an acclaimed speaker, regularly addressing the impact of digital technologies on 21st century business, education and society. He is the author of the international hit “CULT OF THE AMATEUR: How The Internet Is Killing Our Culture” which has been published in 17 different languages and “DIGITAL VERTIGO: How Today’s Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing and Disorienting Us”, his controversial critique of contemporary social media.
How are digital technologies transforming our lives?
Digital technologies are turning us into networking addicts, incapable of spending time alone, uncomfortable with self-reflection, dependent on how others see us. Digital technologies are creating a shadow over our lives. They are creating a society dominated by voyeurism and surveillance. It’s a world that Alfred Hitchcock could have created. I call it Digital Vertigo.
What can the latest technologies do for you?
The latest technologies can isolate you, undermine your human relationships, feed your narcissism and turn you into a corpse. A better question to ask is what we do for the latest technologies. And the answer to that is to humanise them by creating a network in which data degenerates, a network that has learnt how to forget.
If you’re not online, are you out of the game?
Out of the game? Life isn’t a game, even if digital gamers want to turn it into one. Unfortunately, however, only the very rich and very poor can afford to be offline. For the rest of us, then, existing on the digital network is the dominate reality of the 21st century. As the fictional Sean Parker said in the movie The Social Network: “first we lived in villages, then in cities and now on the Internet.”