Activating unconscious mode with the anti-friend: Techno-Stockholm Syndrome

Deactivate that light!

A product manager once asked his project team in an email that I was copied on why the UI was, in the app settings, saying things like “switch on” and “switch off” instead of “activate” and “deactivate.”

  1. Techno-Stockholm Syndrome (TSS for TLA* fans)

We are not worthy

The computer is a man-made tool** that, like all our best tools, does things much better than we do. Because the computer can arrive at answers many, many orders of magnitude faster than our brains can, we fear that we’re intellectually inferior to the computer, despite being its creator.

Do you kiss your mom with that mouth?

This is why we’re not shocked when asked brusque questions like “Abort the installation?,” shown car-crash notices like “Confirmation successfully dismissed” or fed skewering status messages like “Data submission failed. Retry?” If anyone were to speak to us like this, we’d drop whatever we were doing, turn away and perhaps question existence.



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The grumpy old UX writer

Welcome. I’m an older guy working in tech, so please forgive my grumpiness 😒 I’ve worked as a UX writer for 12 years and will likely be doing it when I retire.