The importance of using resources meaningfully

By Hanna Pishchyk. Hanna, 18, is a student at Minsk State Linguistic University, Belarus. Please read her entry and leave your thoughts and comments below.

Sometimes it seems genuinely surprising and fascinating how accurately one sentence can reflect the essence of our life. When looking more closely at the expression of Muhammad Yunus, it becomes clear that it is not so much about technology as about us, people. And if you find this idea hard to believe, let’s try to replace the word “technology” with other words. While money is important, it is what we do with it that truly matters. While natural resources are important it is what we do with them that truly matters. After all, while our life is important, it is what we do with it really matters! This list can go on and on. Moreover, if we think about it, all those things that surround us, which we create and to which we have access, can be appropriately assessed only in the context of how and for what purpose, we use them.

A missile is neither good nor not bad, unless a person presses the launch button to hit a human settlement. A fire extinguisher is neither good nor not bad, unless a person takes it to put the fire out. These examples may seem very simple, but there is a main point behind it: things are neutral. Certainly, a lot of them are created with a specific purpose, but often the goal of creating a particular thing vanishes or changes greatly when it becomes available for people. Just because the diversity of people implies the diversity of how they understand and use things. This principle also applies to technology. There are thousands of them and the number is increasing every day. However, I would like to focus on one of the most famous pieces of technology, which nowadays pervades almost all the aspects of human life and society as a whole: the Internet.

In recent months, while studying the mechanisms of the Internet, its impact on real life, and the role of youth in governing it, I have started asking myself, how we, youth, use this technology and do we take advantage of all the possibilities it gives us. And I consider that there is a problem with the way most of us use it. Thus, a lot of young people spend hours every day on social networks, watching shows, playing online games. Of course, no one has the right to judge the way others use it. But the average teenager spends more than 50% of their online time on entertainment, which does not contribute to their personal growth, and doesn’t benefit others as well.

That is where many of us underestimate the power of positive impact we can make by using this technology. Just imagine, with the help of the Internet, we can raise awareness among young people about issues like the world hunger, the disastrous situation of people who live in wars, the world environmental problem and other important issues of the world. We can become the voices of young people who do not have access or the right to access the Internet around the world. We have the opportunity to use the Internet as a platform for learning and developing our knowledge in any possible direction, to change ourselves and change for the better the society.

Undoubtedly, it would be foolish to deny that creating an online campaign to address an important issue of a community, writing a post about it or taking an online course in the area one has gaps in knowledge, may take more time and efforts than watching a video on YouTube or looking through the feed on Instagram. But herein lies the essence of the issue, the Internet takes our most precious resource, time. And if each of us while being online tries to spend meaningfully, we can benefit to the society while still contributing to our personal development.

That is why when using the Internet we should not just ask ourselves, does it make our life better and more productive. But we have to start asking ourselves how we can use it to make a worthwhile contribution to our lives and lives of others. And the most interesting thing is that this principle just like the topic of this essay can be applied to the all aspects of our life. Namely, when it comes to any kind of resources, the only thing that truly matters is how we use them.



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