Thankful for Access
In today’s world, we have a level of access to information and people like never before. Thanks to the Internet, a large portion of our civilization is interconnected – separated only by the click of a button. Furthermore, a few simple clicks are all it takes to search and learn about a new topic. While this all sounds great, the true value lies in what we do with this structure.
By taking advantage of the technology in our lives, and using it in a positive manner, we have the capacity to access almost any learning resource imaginable. And through these, we can develop and nurture our dreams, which ultimately drive how we progress in life. Nowadays, it’s rare to find a topic of which the Internet doesn’t contain information.
As I reflect on gratitude and privilege, I can’t help but be thankful for this unprecedented level of access that I have – that many of us have – in the information age. The greatest benefit is the simple yet powerful fact that, for most of the world’s population, there are no longer barriers that prohibit life paths. Depending on your background and where you come from, you might have higher mountains to climb. Nevertheless, there are no indestructible barriers – not in the current age of accessible information. I’m able to learn what I want, be whom I want, and in general, do as I wish. This is freedom, and it stems from the access for which I am thankful.
This type of access and information availability should be a right; however, it’s still very much a privilege in our world. There are millions of people who can barely afford – if at all – the necessities in life such as food, clean water, and a roof over their heads. This level of poverty precludes Internet connectivity, which ultimately renders access to information difficult or impossible.
Although I hope that current philanthropic initiatives (like Facebook’s internet.org project) help to alleviate this problem, it serves as a further reminder as to why I should be cognizant of my life’s privilege. I have the world’s contents at the tip of my finger, a few clicks away, and I couldn’t be more thankful.
Armin is a Computer Engineering student in his third year at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. When he isn’t doing schoolwork, he enjoys devoting his time to student politics, participating in the Hackathon community, reading a good book, devouring sushi, and honing his programming skills. He hopes to one day use his knowledge of technology to help society further evolve and move forward.