5 Reasons Why People Reject Technology

A literature review by Murthy & Mani (2013) emphasizes the fact that people are willing to learn to use new technology, but this willingness tends to diminish over time, depending on the time and effort it takes to keep pace with that technology.

For example, if a piece of technology demands continued learning to be applied, it is likely that people will reject it gradually. There are other reasons as well, which the authors highlight:

 1. Technological complexity

Technological complexity is the degree to which a technology is perceived as (relatively) difficult to understand and use. If it is perceived as too complex, it is likely to get rejected by the user.

2. Technology fatigue

  • Feature fatigue: When technological products get loaded with too many features.
  • Wait-and-watch tendency: When people are unable to determine supremacy among technological choices, they tend to wait for the emergence of a clear “standard” technology before investing.
  • Unnecessary technology: People are given more technology than they need, and as a result, they may withdraw toward minimalism of technology.
  • Excessive choice effect: When people have excessive choices among similar products, then they need to understand all the options to evaluate them and make the right choices.

3. Level of flexibility

Technologies that are not flexible at the fundamental level of operation tend to get rejected.

4. Altering user-base

A reconfiguration of the technology user-base may result in technology rejection because it may confuse the user to a degree where s/he cannot master the device anymore.

5. Switching cost and loss aversion

People evaluate a new product in relation to existing products. If there is a perceived loss of an already proven benefit, they may reject the piece of technology. People not only compare a new technology against what they already use and know of, but also against market-dominant standards.

Image: Randi Deuro
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  • Victor Edmund Overbanks

    Not to mention they don’t want to be constantly tracked, monitored, and catalogued without their consent.

    A cellphone is essentially a global tracking device with microphone and camera that you carry around with you staring into all the time. It is not natural for humans to be constantly under surveillance.

    People do not want an ‘internet of things’.
    They don’t want everything about their lives to be data-points for government and corporate interests to consume.
    There is a complete detachment from reality right now and I think people are starting to wake up.

    This is the true reason that people are ‘rejecting’ technology.