A modest proposal: Ecumenical, not agnostic

Posted on Posted inOpinion

Pardon my impudence, but the phrase “device agnostic” is stupid and just plain wrong!

In the digital and technology industry,  the use of the phrase “device agnostic” is supposed to mean that your content works on all devices and platforms.

But Agnostic means: a person who does not have a definite belief about whether [God] exists or not; a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something

Or to translate it into “digital speak”: a person who does not have a definite belief about whether [your app] exists or not

Because that’s just what you want your application to convey: indifference and an unwillingness to commit.

We shouldn’t want or need a programmer who makes “device agnostic” content. And we certainly don’t want content or applications we provide our clients to be noncommittal. 

We want them to commit, entirely, to the devices and operating systems they encounter.

So I propose that the proper term should be “device ecumenical”

Ecumenical: of, relating to, or representing the whole of a body of [churches]

Again, this is a religious word, and I’ve long wondered why the fledgling digital technology industry chose to define everything in terms of religion, sci-fi, or fantasy role-playing. (evangelists, masters, etc). But that’s another post for another day.

In any case, in this usage,  your content is willing to work and relate to any device that is out there, regardless of manufacturer or platform.
It should make no difference to a good app or properly-made content whether the end user is on a PC, iPad, Android or Mac.

The content should work equally well on any device it encounters. It should relate to, and represent, the whole body of digital technology.

Your content may be uncommitted and skeptical. But it should be ecumenical and open to all.

Discuss.

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