I'm feeling particularly melancholic this week as 2009 rolls in and we bid farewell to 2008.
The past year wasn't a great one, most of us would agree with that, and the new year isn't expected to be much better. The economic landscape remains bleak, and employees are shifting nervously in their seats as they read about yet another company handing out pinkslips in the thousands.
Amid these challenging times, as families focus on keeping their rice bowl filled, it's easy to forget that the world is still at war.
Israel this week expanded its airstrikes in Gaza to the Internet, posting video footage of its Hamas attacks on YouTube. According to CNN, the Israel Defense Forces said it wanted to leverage the video-sharing site to "bring our message to the world", by offering "exclusive footage" of its "operation success" in Gaza.
The New York Israeli Consulate also initiated a Twitter feed on Monday, and has since garnered over 2,900 followers. According to a spokesperson, the microblogging service allows the consulate to share its viewpoints with a younger audience.
I'm especially disturbed when technology gets entangled in the Web of political conflict and bloodshed. At the same time, I remain a strong advocate of keeping the Internet free from any unnecessary reins and restrictions.
But, a line has to be drawn somewhere, and I believe there has to be one to stop countries from celebrating the act of violence and war on the Web--or any other platform, for that matter.
Israel believes its airstrikes in Gaza is the solution to stop Hamas militants from firing rockets into Israeli territory. It's not my place to say who's wrong or right, but streaming video footage over the Web just to demonstrate the success of its airstrikes surely cannot be a justifiable act--especially when viewers know each air assault will end a human life in Gaza.
Depending on which side of the fence you're on, technology can mean good or bad things. My wish for the new year is that it can be used to do more good than bad.
World peace may never be attainable, but at the very least, I hope, technology can play a role in bringing us closer--not further--to it.
"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man."
~ Benjamin Franklin