Roger Cowdrey - International Business Consultant. Writer & Motivational Speaker
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Is this the best we can come up with?

In many ways the world is considered the most advanced it has ever been. Technologically we can now carry around significantly more computing power than was needed for the control system for the moon landing, and that power will soon be appearing everywhere on people's wrists.

And yet what do we do with this computing power? Despite the fact that most people cannot cope with more than a very few close friends and a slightly larger number of acquaintances, people use the computing power to pretend that they have hundreds of friends on social media.

Not only that, but they then use these links to share such mundane information as where they are having coffee or where they are shopping. They do this on buses, in theatres and at meals regardless of the irritation to those around them.

At the same time as doing this they are giving countless amounts of information back to the software owners about where they are and what they like, enabling real targeted marketing.

But this use of social media has an even more insidious side to it. Last week one member of a boy band resigned. Immediately a self-harming protest started to gain momentum amongst young girl fans.

This social media vehicle is also the one used to radicalise and recruit terrorists to causes. Parents suddenly find their offspring disappearing to some martyr's utopia without any apparent warning.

So where is it all going wrong? The real problem appears to be the desire to put progress to use primarily in the pursuit of profit rather than for welfare benefit. If we have people that are spending five years to get modern technology to photograph the shadow of an atom, (no matter how clever this may be) surely we have the people with the skills and moral fibre to tackle some of the more important problems facing us.

This week we saw the tragedy of the Germanwings plane being flown into a mountain because a co-pilot could override the security locking system established after 9/11. Now, I have a door on my apartment that would take a bulldozer to open and which only mine and my wife's fingerprint can open. We can both pass backwards and forwards independently. Surely the technical brains that are working on 3D printing of food could come up with a simple technological solution to the cockpit door problem.

There are many other simple tasks for the technologically minded that would be far more beneficial to society than Angry Birds. How about designing a simple domestic violence and rape alarm for women to put on their phone. Now that there are more people with mobile phones than with fresh water, this would be a major benefit where women are still regarded as second class. I looked on the app store but found that the alarms there are designed to protect things like computers and not people!

And I pray for the day that someone invents a personalised signal jammer that is legal and which I can turn on in my pocket or on the bus so as to silence people who invade my space with their psychotic obsession with that lump of technology that was designed primarily so that they could talk to another human!

Until the brains dealing with our increasingly sophisticated technology start to focus their minds on improving the lot of people across the world rather than being motivated solely by profit, we will continue to have self-harming young girls every time a pop star quits, we will continue to see grieving parents as their children disappear to fight other people's causes, domestic violence and crimes against women will continue to rise and I will have to content myself with coughs and pointed stares at my Friday night concerts.

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