Please note that I only voted for Obama because my mother made me. Not to say that I wouldn’t have eventually made the decision to vote for him, but at the time I only did it because I caved in to peer pressure from other Black people. I’m not proud of that, but I bring it up so that I don’t seem like a turncoat or a bandwagon jumper. I was never one of those Obama fanatics with the tee shirts and the calendars and…well, whatever…
According to the Huffington Post, Obama was doing a commencement speech over at Hampton University and was quoted as saying:
“You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter…And with iPods and iPads, and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.”
Instant ::head desk:: moment. Spoken like someone out of touch with society. I don’t think that I’m surprised that his statement, because, really, all politicians say stupid things. I have to admit that I laughed out loud a little bit. What the President is basically saying is “Not that I know what this stuff does or how it works, but I’m sure that it’s bad. And I’m sorry that you have to deal with it.”
Like, really, Obama, who said that iPods are putting pressure on us? Actually, I’m currently sitting here without the headphones to mine and I’m feeling the pressure. Also, I didn’t have use of a PS3, Wii or PS2 for a week. Talk about pressure? I’m going bananas.
I just don’t understand how someone who advertised his presidential campaign through Xbox 360n online, and whose campaign pages spread throughout Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, LinkedIn and even the darkest territories of BlackPlanet and MySpace, can stand in front of a room full of young people and tell them that information is becoming less of an empowerment tool and more of a distraction. Seriously, way to double talk that whole situation.
I’m sad for the President’s ignorance. As a social media enthusiast and aspiring online community coordinator, I love to watch how the connectedness that societies today feel because of these tools like iPods and PS3s empowers them to express themselves in whole new ways.
As a user of their devices and harnesser and harvester of information, I must bring back my “famous” quote from last summer: “Wow. I didn’t know that I was so oppressed.”
Obama feels that all of this new tech takes away our means of emancipation and puts pressure on us. I had no idea. So this whole time, freeing low income families that have PS3s or SideKicks but no computers (which I will still never understand) from the stress of not being able to connect by giving them the ability to browse the web from their gaming system or smart phone is actually enslaving them?
And making it so that people on the go can carry information and access and manipulate data anywhere…that’s a bad thing?
I’ve honestly never felt freer. The ability to gain access to information anywhere with the click of a button and then read other people’s opinions…well, I just think that that’s the bee’s knees.
I do agree that in today’s world, you never know what’s truth and what’s fact anymore. But I don’t blame that on the devices. I put that on the user. If you go to PerezHilton looking for your facts, then you may want to re-evaluate how to do your research. But is that any different than just having a friend who’s a habitual liar and a gossip who calls you every day with a new report? Self-censorship is to blame here, not iPads.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve doubted our great President or my blind decision to vote for him (this is why I don’t vote). I don’t really know too much about him personally, and this is just one quote from one speech. But to feel so free to speak and judge so ignorantly…well, I’m just not sure that I want to live in Obama’s future, where information is handed out in friendly “serving sizes” through media that is “non-distracting” and “empowerment-tested-and-approved”.