Everywhere you look throughout the free and almost-free world, democracy as we know it is under assault. These constant and increasing attacks on freedoms we hold dear are not always from foreign entities, but also come from within.
One can argue, and with some success, that the internet itself, when combined with instant social network communication which has reduced the world to a village, has created an atmosphere where the villagers are setting fire to the village. Many think the world is descending into a new age of technology chaos where right is wrong, good is bad, and the norms of yesteryear are distant memories. If democracy as we know it is in decline, did Apple play a role? Can Apple help turn the tide?
Apple is not the cause of our woes in so-called democratic societies, but I can argue that the iPhone purveyor is an enabler of sorts. Today we carry in our pockets and bags technology marvels; amazing devices which are little more than compact super computers with super communications capabilities thanks to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and social media, plus built-in cameras which exceed broadcast quality video and able to capture cute kittens and record riots as citizens storm the gates or ballot boxes to topple the elite.
No, the earth is not under attack by gray creatures with big eyes from Mars or beyond. Surely, one of the few billion cameras stuffed into every smartphone on the planet would have captured an image. No, we’re under attack by the very internet– and the devices and applications that power it– that should have brought mankind closer together.
Instead of being an information superhighway where anyone anywhere can engage and participate in the education process and share information for the greater good, we’ve become comment-based sociopaths who readily share misinformation without fact, and stir up rivalries and hatred where none should exist. It’s the misinformation superhighway which leads to humanity’s toxic cesspool, and someone call the EPA because the creature created from the mixture is loose and hungry for hatred.
What is Apple’s role in mankind’s seeming road to self-demise? Apple has been the lead enabler, the mindshare leader of modern personal technology, the blueprint for every technology player to copy and expand upon; the powerful platform which holds the keys to every sort of communication application, whether for good or bad, and while Apple is not the instigator, even the highly curated walled garden ecosystem cannot prevail against misuse of technology that was meant for the good of mankind, but may signal mankind’s trek into darker times.
Where would Facebook and Twitter and Donald Trump be without the iPhone? Would the world’s most obvious democracies be stronger, or weaker without the iPhone generation and Apple’s ability to work mindshare magic upon mankind? I don’t want to put blame on the house that Steve jobs built but I cannot help but think that all of humankind might be better off without devices, platforms, and social interaction that spawns hatred and divisiveness vs. understanding and communication that benefits everyone rather than divides us all.