Saturday, December 22, 2007

IT and Christmas: Grappling with relevance for those who can't afford it

It's inevitable! Christmas gets me introspective. It happens every year. You see people in mad rush everywhere - shopping bags in tow. And yes, traffic is insane. All the worrying about decors and gifts, it just gets into my bad side.

It doesn't mean that I don't like preparing for Christmas. But this isn't what I have in mind. Sure, I love getting kids and loved ones presents. However, not to the point of obsessing over it. Not while there are people, and plenty of them who just needs to get by the day, with a meal or two if lucky.

And how about IT and Tech stuff? Bubble, technopreneurs and social networking. They are good stuff. Open source, SaaS and low cost PCs, even better! Those who doesn't want these are probably out of touch with the 'buzz'! Or maybe, it's just that they are preoccupied with where to find food for the table.

So does Christmas and IT stuff really matter for the majority who live in poverty? Let me think.
  • Christmas brings out that burst of generosity, even for just a week or month. It's not livelihood or steady income for the poor but it's a windfall. It's the season to be active and busy for company CSRs!
  • IT and Tech offers year-round innovations. There's no limit to what it can create. Or is there? Cloud computing, kick-ass apps and websites with a million hits. It gets you connected with everyone, everywhere. It's just that it's only for those with PC's and people who can afford electricity.
Christmas brings hope. And so does IT! Hope that there's an application that will turn the tech world around it's bun like Google and uhh, Facebook. Which leads to CSR? Probably.

I can't think of anything else, really. Maybe other people have better ideas. Sure, tech has done a lot to providing solutions that trickle down to the masses especially in the field of communications. Like affordable mobile phones and making 'greener' machines that doesn't accelerate the Earth's free fall to oblivion.

But it just leaves me thinking that there might just be a better way for IT to be directly relevant to millions of poor people. At least, Christmas magically puts a smile and some cheers to them and not to discount the power of inspiration; which leaves IT and Tech the responsibility of putting food on the table and jobs, if possible.

Wishful thinking? Hope not. I really do.