A huge number of people around the world have some type of portable electronic device they can use to communicate for free to other people around the world. Even if they’re totally apolitical right now. Connectivity is not exclusively a tool of the privileged.
For instance, we spoke to one young online game fanatic in New Jersey who says about 80% of the people he regularly competes/communicates with are in the U.S., but about 20% are in another country. Maybe doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a reach we didn’t have, and couldn’t come close to when we were 11. And even though he says his online friends don’t talk at all about politics right now, that could obviously change when they get a bit older. And they could end up being a powerful force for change. Or not. But that decision won’t be limited by technology, or opportunity. Their time may even be a bit far off given how fast things are moving today; their role may be to further refine and improve changes that are already in motion now. It’ll be a choice for them. Unless governments get involved in a big way to block “unwanted” communication (and those oppressive governments that have already done that kind of thing have only done it semi-successfully), these kids’ participation or not won’t be limited by their ability to connect and communicate globally. These tweens will potentially have unfathomable resources stretching across global lines and slicing through many traditional political and societal edifices. It’ll just be a question of how they chose to use that power and innovation.Why Do So Many People Outside The U.S. Care So Much About What’s Going On Inside The U.S. Right Now?