September 6, 2007

"I'm sorry to be the one to say it, but the internet cannot help save the world."

In-fact, the internet is one of the worst (if not the worst) places to promote an altruism lifestyle. If anything, the internet has shown us how lazy we can be.

The internet makes communication easier than ever, with services like e-mail and instant messaging. Instead of picking up a telephone and dialing a few numbers to plan a meeting, we can simply message all of our friends and family with a few clicks of a button. Instantly. Because we're lazy.

We use to spend time to write a personal letter to someone, then sealing that letter in an envelope, licking a stamp, driving to the post office - or nearest mailbox - to send the letter off. Now we just open our computer, type what we have to say, and click a button.

We use services such as Google's Feed Reader to get all of our news in one convenient place. The internet has made things easy for us, and we like it that way, because we're lazy.

So when I find events such as Blog Action Day (which Internet Hunger is proud to be a part of) I can't help but smirk. The truth is that: the internet cannot and will not help save the world.

Sure, the desire is there, but it's safe to say that less than 5% of internet users who feel like helping out the world, actually do something about it. The "call to action" affect just isn't reaching an audience that is devoted to taking steps outside of the usual "click a button, get results" plan.

The internet is a great way to make a problem known. The internet is a perfect place to have a group of activists network together to discuss problems. The internet is really useful for selling products such as PRODUCT(RED) to promote a better world.

But the internet will never be a good place to try and promote the idea of people taking action on their own to change the world for the better. It's just not possible.

So the next time you get a great idea of how to help promote AIDS awareness in Africa, or how to save starving children in Indonesia, or prevent 30% of pollution, don't spend money putting together a web campaign.

If you really want to help save the world, take personal action, do something about it. But don't expect the online communities to get actively involved - unless, of course, you figure out a way to have the simple click of a button solve a lot of the worlds problems.