After doing some research this week I was struck at the fact that there was so little information on this topic. How is it that a generation born into a technological revolution cannot see that technology may just be our answered prayer to fighting the problems in the world. For a few obvious, and a few not so obvious reasons. What problems am I referring to? I am talking about the interpersonal and individual problems we face on a daily basis. I am talking about social problems on a state, country, and global level. I am talking about war. I am talking about justice. I am talking about education. But mostly, I am talking about poverty. According to Martin Burt’s ‘How technology can eliminate, not allviate poverty’, “Technology allows many things today that were inconceivable or impractical in the past…technology enables poor people to self-diagnose their own level of poverty in 30 minutes using a smartphone or a tablet. For the first time, a family in a poor slum or a rural village has the capacity to take stock of their own situation, which is very empowering.” In case this seems a bit far fetched and you’re not quite buying it, let me break it down.
PERSONAL PROBLEMSAnyone living in a first and privileged world will not disagree with the notion that access to unlimited information has helped them sometime somewhere on a very personal level. Be it Googling relationship advice, job openings, health concerns, the list goes on and on. We use the internet as our source of information, as our advice, as our entertainment. I often laugh at my dependence on the internet as I face a situation that leaves me thinking “what would I do without this?” I wake up and stream my music, check my social media for conversations with my many contacts I have developed around the world, check my email and support app for work, use google maps to get to my meetings, you get the idea. I heard a quote the other day that really intrigued me…”In an age of information it is a choice to be ignorant” So it got me thinking, maybe if I pulled my white privileged head out of my a** I could see something far more powerful to do with these tools then find the latest music and keep up with the highly marketed form of escapism in the form of Hollywood dreams. And there is.
SOCIAL ISSUESPeople all over the world have started to use social media as a way to spread information. Now, granted, a lot of it is biased opinions with a lack of credibility and research, however, a lot isn’t. In an age where newspapers and mainstream media is slowly dying, we rely on our communities (as we did back in hunter gatherer days) to receive our information. We scan our facebooks for the latest trends and if your timeline is anything like mine it is also where you hear about the latest updates in regards to economics, feminist issues, same sex and transgender fights for equality, immigration issues, right down to police brutality, terrorist attacks and the many protests swarming the youth of South Africa. In fact, any smart politician knows this and instead of putting up lame posters on the side of the road have taken hold of this opportunity and become ever more active online. We fool ourselves into thinking the world is moving backwards. Research shows that we are at our least violent that we have been in human history. China has the fastest moving animal rights initiative in the world (yes even faster than the mighty Los Angeles). A dying African leader outlawed female circumcision. Same sex marriage was legalized. Marijuana is on a fast moving track to becoming more mainstream with its many medical and mental benefits. Woman are coming closer and closer to finally reaching that equality they have been fighting for for so long. Black lives matter. Fees must fall. This is not the description of a global society moving backwards, change takes time, but Millennials are tired. Baby boomers may have ruined the global economy but it is time to stop finger pointing and do something about it. We have the means, we have the passion. This is our time.
SEE THE CHANGESo we have clarified that the internet helps us make sense of our own psyche and how it has a very powerful way of changing our thought processes and opinions by giving us not only infinite articles and research, but the ability to talk to a wide range of people (and anyone who has traveled anywhere knows that there is nothing more humbling). Now its time to think about the possibilities technology brings to the table in a physical and tangible way. Below is just a simple overview of the few things technology can, does, and will improve:
- Surveys and Polls
- Data Analysis
- Health Care
- Decrease Crime