New Year – New Measures by Robin Trimingham
Perspective is everything.
I have long maintained that in about a thousand years or so archeologists digging about in a landfill from the twentieth century will be heard shrieking with glee “Looook plastic! And it’s soooo well preserved!”
Not something any of us should be proud of now, but none the less true.
The funny thing is that when fully synthetic plastic was first widely introduced in the 1940’s and 1950’s it was viewed as the all-purpose durable wonder substance that could be cheaply molded into just about any object in just about any color. In the plastic renaissance of the next thirty years no one foresaw that the durability and slow degradation would ultimately cause a global pollution crisis unlike anything the world had ever experienced. But, as with all new technologies, as our understanding of their potential (both good and bad) has evolved, so has our management of this technology.
The same might be said of the internet.
Having been born B.I. (before internet), I have witnessed it’s evolution from something only a super geek might occasionally use to consult a university library catalogue; to an eclectic online magazine that one “surfed” after dinner if there was nothing good on television and your dial up connection didn’t fail too often; to a work tool with email; to an online trading tool for stock exchanges; to a text tool for European kids; to a fun Facebook for everyone; to a cyber bullying, terror and virus inflicting, identity thieving, political election manipulating, deliverer of live executions and false news …
And yet for some reason we still let children play with it, we voluntarily store our most personal data in it, and in the very near future we will begin to allow it to run our houses, and drive us around in cars.
It’s time for all of us to improve our personal management of this technology and to call upon elected officials to require companies developing and leveraging this technology to do the same.
It’s time to stop being complacent.
Do we keep household chemicals where children can access them? When heavy industry pollutes drinking water, do we allow them to say it is not their problem to clean up the mess? When there is crime in the streets do we just accept that the police cannot put a stop to it?
Of course not.
Then why do we believe we are powerless to force the mega-companies that create, power, and provide access to the internet to deliver a safe reliable service, and take action against those who do not?
As the members of the generation that have lived fully with, and without internet, it is up to us to embrace change and new technologies but it is equally our responsibility to fight for the sort of future we want our grandchildren and great grandchildren to experience.
We all live in the world we create for ourselves, so why not create something great?
Take an interest. Take a stand. Take action.
By Robin Trimingham