THE BLOG
05/05/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Poverty vs.The Short Rope of Technology

A quick jaunt on the internet has a way of laying out and exposing the days pressing concerns. What's new, what's hot, what's "relevent". Whether it be political issues, health issues, or economy issues, the heirarchy of what makes its way to the virtual "front page" determines what becomes big news to millions of people.

Beginning with printed newspapers, and the subsequent advent of the modern webpage, we have grown accustomed to assuming that whatever makes the headlines "must" be important to us. Forget the fact that someone else, someone we probably don't know or have never met, is dictating what we believe is important; our collective attention towards what's new and exciting is being fed to us subconsciously, and then plugged into our brains.

So as I pondered over this thread, something crossed my mind; why hasn't technology bridged the physical boundaries that separate those in poverty from the rest of the world?
With all that empowers us technologically, from entertainment to communication, to the generation of community, why hasn't any of that trickled into helping the plight of the empoverished?

You only have to look around you to see the irony. One moment you might be looking at a sparking new BMW 750i going down the street. A moment later, and you see a shopping cart with a sleeping bag and random clothes hanging out of it. A trip through any major city would certainly include two places; the central financial district of town, and the disorganized, beaten down, poor side of town.

Technology today is a multi-multi-billion dollar industry. It has revolutionized almost every aspect of human life. It reaches across entire communities, entire countries, entire cultures, entire age groups, and entire belief structures. You'd be hard pressed to find a part of life that hasn't been changed by technology, for better or for worse.

Poverty has been around before technology was even a virtual "fetus" in the womb of industry. Poverty reaches so far back into history that it was [and perhaps still is] a defining aspect of social class structure. That might be understandable when peasants were ruled by kings, but to think, in this day and age, even with technology at our side, poverty STILL defines class structure in the world. How insane is that?

With all the money, and all the capabilities that technology offers us, we still can't delete, or even redefine poverty in our world. But is it a limitation of technology that hinders us, or is it ourselves that hinders us? We have only to look into the mirror, and think to ourselves "boy would I hate to be poor". It is then that you'll realize that which prevents poverty from rising up and joining the 21st century - we as individuals, with what money we have, and with what technology we choose to enhance our lives with, choose to save "ourselves". When we cling to everything we hold dearly, then add sparkle to our lives through the use of technology, it helps us to forget; to ignore our faults, to put aside our worries, to bring us to our comfort zones, away from things that we're afraid of, and afraid of becoming.

From all that technology promises us, and all that it offers, its reach - its rope, will never be long enough to touch the poor... unless we extend our collective arm out far enough for the impoverished to take hold of that rope, and join the rest of the world.