It’s rare that I come across a media campaign so powerful that I can’t say anything more than a subdued, “Wow”, and I’ve been around long enough to have seen plenty of them.
The Salvation Army has released a “Time To End Poverty” media campaign that includes images like the one in this post, as well as this video. Without the use of fancy computer animation or graphic content, TSA drives home their message like a stake through the heart. Thunk-OW. It’s just like that.
I’ve been that guy with the laptop many times, mostly for job searching while sitting in a warm coffee shop. I’ve also been that homeless guy sitting outside a few times, wondering with that same look on his face, “What did I do to deserve this?”
I’ve also been that guy who has worked in Information Technology for over 20 years, doing his part to help implement hardware and software for my co-workers and companies to use. During that time I’ve seen computers become more powerful, smaller, and easier to use. Each generation is made better than the last. The question that begs to be asked — and raised by the “Time To End Poverty” campaign — is if this marvelous technology is making things better.
In my humble opinion, I must answer no. We have social media that brings everyone in the world closer together only to have NIMBYism push us further apart, preventing collaboration on social issues. More wealth is being generated thanks to automation and improved retrieval, manipulation and storage techniques of big data, yet that same wealth is not being distributed equally. The creation of transnational computer networks has allowed corporations to expand into new market areas around the world while at the same time accessing cheaper forms of labour that shuts out the local job market and increases unemployment. Teachers can educate students more efficiently and in less time through overhead displays, E-mail, and web-sites, but postsecondary education costs still go up and up and up, and further out of reach of our young people.
It’s like building a house. You can own the best hammer, power drill, or saw in the world, but if you can’t build a house with a solid sound foundation, the house collapses. Our current way of life, our society, has come to this point. We can make these wonderful tools that could improve things, yet do not know how or are unwilling to.
Seems to me it’s our social awareness that needs an upgrade, not the tablet or laptop.
Thanks for reading!