Saturday, August 13, 2011

With great power comes great responsibility…


Were the wise words of uncle Ben to ‘Spiderman’, and so it is with any kind of power, not only ‘Super powers’. I just started to think about the power of technology and social networking while reading about the recent  London riots which were organised and planned using blackberry messaging and through social networks like Twitter. These are the same technologies, the same networks that enabled the world to be updated and aware about the events during the Egypt and Libya uprisings when media could not reach the spots, the same technologies that helped survivors of the Mumbai blasts let each other know of whereabouts through constant tweets.

While in one part of the world the Web 2.0 and social networking were used to overcome political oppression or disasters, in another part it is now being used as a tool for rioters to plan more activities to destroy a city or to spread rumours and tarnish the reputation of an organisation set up to save lives (read this  for more on how the Associated press article which claimed corruption of Global Fund financing without proper factual base was circulated all over the world…Don’t get me started on this one). I was just thinking about how the many wonderful inventions which give us so much power to communicate to the whole world, to network, if not used with responsibility could also be the same technologies to bring about our own destruction. After all technology is simply a tool with no soul, no conscience, available to be used by anyone. While I do not endorse governments or any other body screening the use of internet or social networks, it also seems that the total free usage can also cause very serious problems, especially in the wrong hands.

These amazing innovations can help us to live much more productive lives, reach many more people… even the fact that I’m able to write this and with a click of a button anyone in the world can see it, is a miracle, but it’s the same button that can be used to spread lies… in the end the technology is not to be blamed, its simply the enabler. We can literally reach the world through our fingertips, so with that power it is each and every one of our responsibility to ensure that we use this power to improve the world we live in, not to destroy it. 

We can blame governments and society, circumstances, but then two people going through the same bad circumstances do not end up in the same way, one may choose to steal or destroy while the other might choose to fight crimes or work hard and help society... What is it that causes the difference? I wish I knew... Is it religion? believing in a higher purpose? love? Equality?

In conclusion… I have no conclusion and no solution just many questions... All I can do for now is to ensure that I use what ever power I have responsibly...Making the world a better place, one person at a time...

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