Tech matters to regular people too: A conversation with Isa Rodriguez
Technology moves at an aggressive pace, which makes it tough for laypeople to stay fully in the loop. Thankfully though, there are individuals out there trying to help. And one of them? Isa Rodriguez.
She is one of a growing number of content creators bridging the divide between intense tech jargon and the reality of being an everyday user. Formerly a lifestyle editor of a global tech publication, Rodriguez recognised this need and embarked on a mission to make technology more relatable, personal, and enjoyable for general users.
Through her YouTube channel, Isa Does Tech, she showcases gadgets and explores the tech world from a lifestyle perspective. The idea? To reach people beyond the hardcore geek sphere and to “make being a ‘techie’ a less daunting thing to casual users”.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Isa about her journey, the importance of diversity in a male-dominated world, and how we can expect tech to evolve in the coming years.
Somewhere between chic and geek
Rodriguez focuses on various aspects of technology, but her area of expertise is on cameras and photography. Isa has a novel approach to reviewing these items. Knowing that the majority of people just want to quickly snap a moment rather than spending an age finding the best settings, she reviews cameras through the lens (no pun intended) of casual users. By testing phones based on these parameters too, Isa aims to provide relatable and practical insights into the technology that everyday users can appreciate.
For Rodriguez, “the best tech is the tech that serves your specific needs.”
This is an ethos that runs through her work: finding what functions best for individuals, rather than treating everyone as though they’re the same. And this, she tells us, is why diversity is so important in the tech industry.
Breaking barriers, shaping tomorrow
Without diversity and representation, technology becomes a “one-size-fits-all" concept, tailored solely to the needs of a homogenous majority. Rodriguez is fighting against this outcome at all costs, not just with her content, but by building a network.
By creating connections with women creators worldwide, Rodriguez and her partners have carved out a space in the traditionally male-dominated tech space, fostering an atmosphere of support and collaboration along the way.
As someone from the Philippines — and therefore out of the Western idea of the ‘technology sector’ — Rodriguez aims “to contribute [her] unique perspective to the many voices out there that shape the future of this industry”.
She believes that amplifying different voices and experiences is crucial to creating a more inclusive and diverse tech community, something she is supporting through initiatives like LiTT Media.
Of course, diversity isn’t just about the people involved in the tech world — it also covers the devices we’re using.
The future: from small hands to sustainability
When we asked Rodriguez about the technology she’s most excited about, she pointed towards clamshell foldables, and this is “mostly because it’s an example of technology serving a lifestyle demographic when trends were moving towards a different direction”.
In fact, in an era where phones are getting bigger, clamshell foldables provide a compact and smartphone. This makes them a better fit not only for people with smaller hands but also for everyone wanting to place them in smaller pockets.
Products like clamshell foldables succeeding are important for diversity, as they can make individuals with different body shapes feel welcome and comfortable with the devices they use.
Another aspect of the tech industry’s future Rodriguez is passionate about is sustainability. She acknowledges the current environmental issues and does her best to educate her audience on making greener choices when it comes to gadget purchasing.
Rodriguez is glad to see more brands recognising the importance of sustainability — and hopes these efforts will continue.
In our conversation, she also pointed toward other great gadgets and tools that are trying to make a difference: “From home compost machines to personal hydroponic systems, I am seeing more and more tech that empowers consumers, even in their small ways, to be part of this effort on sustainability”.
Space for being different
Rodriguez has a steadfast commitment to a creating tech industry that thrives on diversity, inclusivity, and sustainability. She’s driven by a desire to break free from the confines of a homogenous majority and ensure that technology caters to the unique needs of individuals from all backgrounds.
Through her relatable content, she empowers casual tech users, making technology accessible and enjoyable for all. As she tirelessly advocates for change, Rodriguez sets a powerful example of how technology can shape a future that is both inclusive and sustainable.