Friday, August 1, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

‘Technological Balance’ by Annie Van Den Broeke

By
April 10, 2013 |

Former British prime minister Gordon Brown once advised, “Take … what modern technology is capable of: the power of our moral sense allied to the power of communication and our ability to organize internationally.” He further explained that he was of the opinion that such technology “gives us the first opportunity as a community to fundamentally change the world.”

Important Subscriber Update

We will be switching to a new online subscription service on Tuesday, August 5th. If you are already a subscriber with login access to MtDemocrat.com you will need to re-register under the new service. This will not affect your bill. Please take the time today to click "Subscriber Verification" to verify your subscription with us and continue your access to MtDemocrat.com before the new service takes over.

We apologize for the temporary inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience and continued support while we make this transition.

- Mountain Democrat

1-Month Access
Subscriber Verification
Help?

On the other hand, Thomas Sowell — who is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution — expressed his belief that “The march of science and technology does not imply growing intellectual complexity in the lives of most people. It often means the opposite.” Both of these men are correct, especially since the greatest challenge facing Generation Y is knowing how to use technology to ‘fundamentally change the world’ without losing its ‘intellectual complexity.’

Born into an era that abounds with technological advancements, the people of Generation Y must learn to balance pleasure with purpose where technology is involved — in today’s age, that is nearly everywhere. Understandably, people appreciate technology for its entertainment value and its ease of use. Yet, the problem occurs when people utilize technology purely for these two aforementioned qualities and forget the true reasons for such advancements. While enjoying the effortlessness with which they can communicate with their friends and family — through social media sites, electronic mail, and cellular devices — the people of Generation Y need to recognize the possibilities that accompany such easy, widespread contact.

Take, for example, the Egyptian revolution that began on June 8, 2010, with “a photograph of a bloodied and disfigured face” that Wael Ghonim found on Facebook (Vargas). Ghonim discovered that this pitifully mutilated face was that of Khaled Mohamed Said, a young man “who had been beaten to death by the Egyptian police” (Vargas). Using the same social media site that had informed him of the injustice inflicted upon Said, Ghonim “created a Facebook page,” which he titled “‘Kullena Khaled Said’” or “‘We Are All Khaled Said’” (Vargas). In just two minutes, “300 people had joined [Ghonim’s page],” and “three months later, that number had grown to more than 250,000” (Vargas). But, Ghonim did not simply rely on his Facebook page to gain support; rather, Ghonim utilized “printed fliers and mass text messaging” in addition to the social media site, for he knew “‘reaching working-class Egyptians was not going to happen through the Internet and Facebook’” (Vargas).

The result of this sweeping communication was a uniting of “workers, human rights activists, government employees and others who had grown tired of the regime’s policies” in “a series of ‘Silent Stands’ that culminated in a massive and historic rally at Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo” (Vargas). With these protests, this unified group brought about “the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak and the dissolution of the ruling National Democratic Party” (Vargas).

Now, the challenge for those born into Generation Y is to follow the meritorious example of Wael Ghonim, a man who used the technological advancements of the Internet, Facebook, and text messaging to help unite the Egyptian people, inspire change, and better his society. Still, Ghonim did not entirely depend on technology to spread his message, for he knew he could not communicate with all possible supporters through such means. So, Ghonim created paper fliers that even those without computers and cellular devices could access. Like Ghonim, the people of Generation Y must remember that technology is not available to everyone.

Admittedly, as an American who has grown up during a time when advancements in technology are constantly occurring, it can be difficult to imagine a life without the modern conveniences of the Internet or cell phones. It can be even more of a challenge to appreciate the indulgences technology provides with the simple press of a button or flip of a switch. Kelvin Doe, a Generation Y teenager from Sierra Leone, is a powerful reminder to those of his generation who may take technology for granted: “[Doe] literally goes into trash cans, finds broken electronic parts from the garbage and makes stuff on his own” (Walsh). Using his various findings and creative reasoning, Doe “built a radio station … and constructed a battery to help manage blackouts in his village, ”but his inventions will not end there; this inspired and innovative young man “plans to build a windmill to produce electricity” (Walsh). Despite the fact that he has few resources readily available to him and that technology — excepting his own technological creations — is nearly nonexistent in his village, Doe is improving his society with his inventiveness just as Ghonim did through his use of technology.

Remembering the fine examples of Wael Ghonim and Kelvin Doe is the first step Generation Y should take in overcoming the challenges presented by technology. Ghonim’s experience illustrates the influence of mass communication and demonstrates the purpose with which technology should be used, for, beginning with a Facebook page, he inspired the Egyptian people to unite and fight for justice. Doe, on the other hand, has little besides the technology he himself invents, thus reminding others born into Generation Y to be grateful for the modern conveniences they possess. Yet, both of these men’s stories remind the people of Generation Y that they can “fundamentally change the world” (Brown) without losing “intellectual complexity” (Sowell) as long as they preserve their own creativity and knowledge, denying technology the opportunity to consume their minds.

As a means of achieving this end myself, I intend to go one day a week without some form of technology that I would otherwise use everyday — be it the computer, my cell phone, or television. With these open intervals of time, I will create and learn, thereby deepening my own ‘intellectual complexity.’

Comments

comments

Democrat Staff

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    Cameron Park house burns

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Supes delay petition

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

    Fire generated small city, inspired volunteers

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Sand Fire 95% contained

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

     
    Two fires in town

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A3

    .

    Opinion

    Missing the point

    By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    The weekly Daley: The wrong side of history

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

    Billingsley’s bullets: Advice from my psychiatrist

    By Bob Billingsley | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Letters

    Water conservation

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

     
    Koby

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

    Debt reduction at EID with Coco?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    Time for change in CP

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

    Olives need less water

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    EID rate discrimination

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

    Second Amendment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

     
    Pollock Pines’ Fourth of July Parade

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

    .

    Sports

    Racing returns with big 5-division card

    By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A9

     
    Camp draws good numbers

    By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post | Gallery

    New law tackles gridiron concussion problem

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Outside with Charlie: Rafting denied

    By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A9

    Roundup: July 31, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Prospecting

    Sing while you paint

    By Placerville Arts Association | From Page: B1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

     
    Things to do: Aug. 1, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2

    The making of a champion

    By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B2

     
    Plenty of golden fun during SlugFest

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Art on the Divide is showing new exhibitor

    By Art On The Divide | From Page: B3

     
    ‘The Flu Season’ stirs emotions

    By Ovation Stage | From Page: B4

    Time to register for classes at Center Stage

    By Center Stage Dance Academy | From Page: B5

     
    Guitar group performs in Sutter Creek

    By Sutter Creek | From Page: B5

    Get a groove on in Sutter Creek

    By Sutter Creek | From Page: B8

     
    Chris Young in concert at Carson Valley Inn

    By Carson Valley Inn | From Page: B8

    The music continues at Bear Valley Music Festival

    By News Release | From Page: B8

     
    Sacramento Museums are celebrating

    By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B9

     
    .

    Essentials

    Weather stats

    By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

     
    Crime Log: July 17-19

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

    .

    Obituaries

    Lisa Oliver Rose

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Larry A. Randall

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Mark A. Smith

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Jeffie “Jeff” Lee Callahan

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Patsy Ruth Wing

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Real Estate

    Decorating your home by the numbers

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

     
    Avoiding the deal killers

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

    Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

     
    Luxury home sales jump

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

     
    Pending home sales decrease in June

    Press Release | From Page: HS13

     
    Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

    Press Release | From Page: HS17

    Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

    Press Release | From Page: HS23

     
    .

    Comics

    .

    Home Source

    Decorating your home by the numbers

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

    Avoiding the deal killers

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

    Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Luxury home sales jump

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

    Pending home sales decrease in June

    Press Release | From Page: HS13

    Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

    Press Release | From Page: HS17

    Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

    Press Release | From Page: HS23