No one could deny that screen technology is revolutionizing the way we work, live and interact with one another.
Although concerns about technology have been with us a long time (TV has been a vast wasteland for more than 50 years), the ubiquity of the Internet has given these concerns greater urgency.
Are we paying enough attention to the potential threat to our privacy and personal security? Somehow 1984 came and went and no one noticed. Do we know enough about the effect on interpersonal relations and even our health? Certain ly, children are exposed to far more at a younger age than just a generation ago. How well do we understand that?
As Americans struggle to find the balance between personal privacy and freedom and try to determine the proper role of government and corporations, this deliberation will consider approaches that will help us decide, as citizens, what we value and how those values can guide policy and personal decisions about the screens in our lives. For the first time, the framing of this issue has been developed entirely by students, providing us with a unique basis for a community conversation. This is your invitation to be part of that conversation. The primary goal of Public Issues Forums is to provide an environment in which we can work through complex, controversial issues such as this in a way that allows us to get to the heart of what is important to each of us. Issues are addressed from multiple perspectives in order to avoid the debate dynamic that is common in public discourse but that seldom results in constructive outcomes. An explicit goal of any forum is to have those who attend come to a better understanding of why people with different viewpoints see an issue the way they do; another is to discover our areas of common ground for moving forward. Solutions are not likely to come from Washington or Harrisburg, or even from so-called experts. That makes your voice essential. Please join us Nov. 1.
David Hutchinson is the co-chairman of the Public Issues Forums of Centre County.