So I know this isn’t exactly about social media, or about New Zealand. But I think it is something that should be looked at.
Overnight NZ time, The Telegraph in the UK ran a story with the title: David Cameron: Netflix baffles me. The theme of the story is that David Cameron struggles to understand technology. Here are some quotes:
He added that needed help from his local electrical store about what to buy and praised staff at the Curry’s in Aylesbury, which is just a few miles from Chequers, the Prime Minister’s official residence.
Mr Cameron said he liked to go the Curry’s store in Aylesbury because the staff there were “so knowledgable about the products”.
He said: “I am only 47 and I am meant to be in touch with this stuff but it is getting quite confusing with tablets, and phones and televisions.
“So much functionality. You don’t know whether you are meant to be Sky Plus or NetFlix, and they are brilliant at trying 40-somethings through this maze.
Sky Plus allows viewers to record programmes and watch them later.
So here we have the Prime Minister of the UK, who is willing to admit that he doesn’t understand the basics of technology. How are we to expect leaders to push for technological change that the future requires, if they can’t understand the basics of things like Netflix.
In New Zealand we have had the Sky Net incident in Parliament, among others. If leaders who have some of the other requisite skills for leadership are not able to show they have an understanding of where technology is going, then how do they expect to pick up the vote of younger people who see the internet and technology as the way to make their living going forward?
It is great that David Cameron is willing to praise the work the staff at the local electronics shop do to help people like him get their head around it. But at the same time, it doesn’t provide much hope that he is able to grasp the potential, and the risks, of technology going forward.