The problem with talking shit about young people and the technology they use is that then they use it. They use these technologies to spread Old Man ignorance and laugh at the empty words and remix them, mash them up or juxtapose them with pictures of cats. Young people, or the plugged-in, make fun not necessarily because the Olds don’t get it, but because they act like they do. This sort of thing is supposed to happen to John McCain, not Barack Obama. But everyone makes mistakes.
In his speech today at Hampton University in Virginia, President Obama slipped for a second and spoke glibly about some of his most fervent supporters, specifically their technological tools and pastimes. It was out of character for a man who, as Mediaite reminds us, fought to keep his BlackBerry.
This is an oops — and don’t expect the Internet to forget these words anytime soon:
“With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations, — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.”
“All of this is not only putting new pressures on you, it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.”