Apple wants kids to change the world. Is that such a good idea?

Commentary: Apple's new ad encourages kids to be creative. But hasn't the "changing the world" thing become a touch devalued by the last generation of kids?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

A child at a playground.

Reaching for a new world.

Apple; YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Whenever Apple has one of its product unveilings, it likes to release an uplifting ad, full of feel-good flavor.

After its launch Tuesday of a new $329 iPad to help schools get ahead, the iPhone maker offered a commercial that's a powerful statement of possibilities.

As we see kids romping in a playground, we hear their voices lauding the concept of imagination and creativity as a way to move humanity forward.

"You can make anything you want, and you can make that change the world," says one kid. 

"One person can change the world," the child adds.

It's true, and everyone wants to believe in it.

I fear, though, that tech companies -- many run by relative kids -- have somewhat devalued the notion of changing the world.

As so many young tech CEOs insisted they were making the world a better place, it appears that their confidence may have been misplaced.

To the point at which now we have, for example, Facebook showing an alarming lack of awareness as to what its creation -- and the company's insistence on its apparently neutral infallibility -- has wrought.

Technology has, indeed, made it far easier to believe that you can make anything you want. But the responsibility that comes with this has been rather lacking. 

Personally, I'm rather heartened that the kids of today might not be quite the same as the kids of the recent past who made so many important (to them) apps.

The Parkland shooting survivors' movement is one example of young people stopping and thinking before doing. It's such a welcome change from some tech companies that did lots of doing, didn't stop and only now are beginning to ponder the effects. 

So kids, please go ahead, grab your iPads and go make something special. Please, though, think through at least a few of the potential consequences. 

Oh, and can you get off my lawn now?

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