Is it progress?

I was worried about what to title my blog for my social media course. Actually I am generally worried about what I post online, which has led me to lead a fairly limited life on social networks. I do not have much fear of becoming this girl, for the fact that I can not twerk, let alone upside down, but more importantly because I typically don’t display the stupid, or even smart things that I do on the internet. As many people who go on the internet, I have preferred to be a spectator of the online world, using other people’s lives as humor, inspiration, or a good warning of what NOT to put on the internet.

The question that I know has already been answered is, “Is the technology that we have today actually creating progress?” And the answer is of course, “It depends how we use it.” If it is a tool then we can use it like many other tools that make our lives easier. My old boss use to make fun of men because she said they have to have a tool for everything. That they would use it as an excuse to not do something (I don’t have the right tool) or as an excuse to buy another one (Well you have to use a blow torch.. that’s just the most efficient way to cut XYZ). My boss would try and make the point that she could do many jobs with only a few simple tools, many of which weren’t specifically designed to do the thing she was trying to do. Example: using a screw and the claw side of the hammer to open a wine bottle.

While I agree that certain simple tools can be used for many different purposes, the best tools are ones that serve their purpose. Some people prefer a very large tool belt in which every task has its own tool. Others simply stick to the basics, finding work arounds and creative ways to attack a problem. With either approach it is important to understand what the goal is. If we consider social justice issues as a goal to be addressed, we might want to consider utilizing every tool to address the problem. Using social media to address homelessness might appear to some as ludicrous to be using a screw and hammer to open a wine bottle, but if it works to increase awareness and support for programs for homelessness, then it is helping to address the issue.

I grew up working with my dad around the house; building things, breaking things, fixing things. I have become envious of my dad’s tool shed. He always has the right tool. Years of experience working with his hands he knows what might work in any given situation. It took him many many fathers days, birthdays, and Christmases to gather his tools, but he is ready for just about any task that is thrown his way.

I hope to gather tools that can help fight the injustice in our world. I don’t have all of them now, nor will I soon. And even with all the right tools, each task will require work. But I hope that each tool will help make progress. Progress away from poverty, away from disparity, and towards justice.

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One thought on “Is it progress?

  1. I absolutely agree with your statement that it depends on how we use it. Technology doesn’t create progress – we do – or don’t – depending on how we use what we have. There are times when I believe technology is making out lives easier and getting us to our goals more efficiently. Then there are times when I believe we are using technology for its own sake. And I am guilty of enjoying the toys myself – and maybe I don’t need all those tools. We will talk a lot about being clear about the goal and then using the right social media tool to accomplish the goal. It’s a means to an end – not the end in itself. Good thinking post.

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