Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Op Ed: Millennials and Privacy

If you’re looking to mobilize the current and next generation into fighting big government because of the recent discovery of intrusion on our privacy – you might want to rethink your strategy. Quite frankly, I’m not sure it really matters to us that much.

Think about it in general the average American young adult uses Facebook, Twitter, online banking, online shopping, online food orders, and online payment of bills. We use the internet to multi-task. We job search, submit resumes and track applications. We sometimes read blogs, participate in online chat, use the cloud to save documents and yes, Google is so familiar to us that you might as well add it to the list of American staples.

The younger generation appreciates convenience and ease: so why wouldn’t you sync all of your accounts, put your calendar online, allow different websites to cross-access your information on another website universe and allow for automatic bill payment by companies? We read books via our ereader, utilize text messaging as an extension of ourselves, and benefit from Skype when we need to see a face but can’t be there in person. We access this information on our phones, via our ipads, and laptops, even through TVs. Not only do we see the benefit of technology, it has become like the air we breathe. We have experienced its power, we see the potential and we’re captivated by every cutting edge development. If we could come back in the second life, we’d love to have the brilliance of the Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg. They are our entrepreneurial cultural icons.  

Freedom to us is synonymous with the internet, a world wide web, and a cultural world to be discovered. It can never be limited! We are always finding new websites, tools, trends and resources. We meet new friends, keep up with old ones and track the world’s news.  We see the latest movie trailers, follow the latest fashions, play our computer games, utilize our creativity and even win a few dollars via online gaming.

Not only are these technology tools a part of our life, but we understand how they work and the benefit of their powerful influence. You, on the other hand, see the grave danger of a lack of privacy, you have stake in private information and you understand freedom. We, however, do not, at least in the way you want us to know it.

Before you go to your children with a voter registration form, an invite to the next Republican benefit dinner, or a form to donate to the latest tea party effort – be aware. The revelation of the Big Brother’s massive intrusion of freedom you are experiencing seems like the next step to crossing over the threshold into complete government take over. But to us, it’s no biggy. It’s just a part of our everyday existence.  

Don’t you dare give up on the fight to defend and preserve individual rights and freedoms and your work to convince us of what we face as a nation. The beauty of America is this: you have freedom to educate yourself, we have a God who will give us understanding, we still have freedom to apply the wisdom and you have a younger generation that needs your freedom and relationship. All is not lost. You just may have a lot more educating and planning to do than you realize.

Written by Amy Hawkins 6/12/13