Watching the news a few weeks ago I thought I had drifted into another dimension as I saw President Obama, 'the first emailing president', complain in his college professor mode that technology was a distraction to college graduates. In his tirade against the future, he admitted that he doesn't know how to use an iPod, iPad, or xBox. This is a totally new revelation that doesn't bode well for the President.
The man who won the 2008 Presidential election by utilizing the Internet, email and social media to reach voters and to stir up millions of young people around the world is now condemning the same technology that got him where he is today. Clearly there is a difference between the candidate and the campaign. The campaign was hip and techo-savvy. The candidate now President, quite less so. A BlackBerry on the hip alone doesn't make you hip. The President who was seen as the bridging of the gap between older generations and younger ones has stabbed the younger generation in the back, but for what gain?
President Obama's reasoning for taking shots at iPads, iPods, and xBoxs are that "information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment." So the President would rather us be bored and dumb in some sort of worker's paradise? The answer is hopefully no. But the point is, what's up with attacking these new products and new technologies that can only help not hurt the development of our culture, and country and (what was supposed to be job #1) our economy?
But the White House wasn't the only entity that trashed technology, the New York Yankees made it clear that no iPads are allowed at the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The reason? iPad has potential to distract players and other fans from the game at hand, and falls under the stadium 'No Laptop Policy'. Why then would the Yankees construct their new stadium with full Wi-Fi throughout the premise? I think this is a policy short for this world and short for this stadium.
Of course the Red Sox (can you tell I'm a fan?) don't care what electronic device you bring to the game.
The hypocrisy is shared by both the New York Yankees and President Obama, as the two both try to split hairs on the use of technology. What's good for my campaign is not good for you. And, what's good for the stadium is not good for you. The Yankees put computers into the lockers of each player, who can tweet while combing their hair, or send one last email or check a web statistic before the game.
Technology is a powerful agent for change, probably moreso than any politician. Both the Yankees and Obama are missing the point and potential of these marvelous inventions, suggesting that they really are worried about things that don't matter to most of us. Being out of touch, hopefully is not contagious.