Monday, May 24, 2010

Changing times

The world we live in has changed exponentially since we were children.  Perhaps, it is difficult for our brains to comprehend this and learn to adapt to it.  I find a sort of Luddite mentality emerging.  "Lets ban or boycott..."  I have seen the same with people removing television from their home.  Living like a hermit is certainly possible but is it healthy or is it something that our religion/way of life supports?

Over the years, mankind has said "automobiles cause deaths", "television teaches violence", "video games make people shoot other people", "internet spreads pornography" and now facebook, twitter, myspace etc.  But actually, these are all tools that the human being uses for good or bad.  You can cut vegetables with a knife or you can stab someone, do we then "ban" the knife?  Should we start boycotting every page, group or person who doesn't agree with us?  Where does it stop?

On the other hand, however, how we express ourselves has changed greatly over the years.  When this happens, we have the power of influence to make a change through this new media.  We've seen this through online petitions, web pages dedicated to making a change, mass emails to congress and so on.  However, these are all coordinated efforts.  If there is a certain issue that needs to be addressed through a social networking site then the effort has to be coordinated, otherwise, all it is doing is creating confusion.

With a recent controversy in the news, I feel the reaction has certainly been over the top.  Perhaps, if we were to ignore the person trying to get a reaction, then the person's efforts would be fruitless.  If majority of the population ignores a site, the site gets fewer hits, is less popular and eventually goes offline.  The more we share certain sites, the more popular they get, the more hits, and in the end, they end up on the news along with shows of extremism from both sides concerned.

I know everyone will not agree with me but I am a person who supports technology.  The only way forward, for me, is to embrace this new technology, learn it and adapt to it.  Yes, it is a change, from writing a letter on my best stationary and I certainly miss that.  But we have to move with the times.  How else, are we to keep up with our children.  We will definitely loose them to extremism if we do not even try to understand where they're coming from.

Perhaps, in this whole episode, there is a lesson for us.  Firstly, we should certainly think how our actions affect the technology and what will in the end get potrayed to the world.  Secondly, taking action may not be the best choice.  Sometimes, doing nothing is the perfect choice.  Doing nothing, brings down traffic, hits, popularity, stats and comprehensively marketing money.  So, in conclusion, lets not do too much, just the simple stuff, make our personal lives more constructive and go have fun with the family.  Facebook, twitter, myspace etc will still be there tomorrow.  We shall live to protest another day.

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