Melinda Gates addressed Duke University’s graduating Class of 2013 on Sunday, talking about her own years at the university in the 1980s and the evolution of technology and communication since then. (Okay, and basketball, too.)
Gates spoke at length about the role technology plays in the lives of 20-somethings, who are sometimes called “Generation C” for their connectedness and click-happiness. Gates told the graduates to reject the “hype” that technology has disconnected them from the world — hype that says kids these days would rather collect friends on Facebook than build true relationships, that they would rather share a photo of their meal than enjoy it.
“I want to encourage you to reject the cynics who say that tech is flattening your experience of the world,” Gates said. “Please don’t let anyone make you think that you are any less, somehow shallow, because you like to update your status on a regular basis. The people who say that technology has disconnected you are wrong — but so are the people who say that technology has automatically connected you. Technology is just a tool. It’s a powerful tool, but it’s just a tool. Deep human connection is very different. It’s not a tool. It’s not a means to the end — it is the end. It’s the purpose of a meaningful life. And it will inspire the most amazing acts of love, generosity and humanity.”
You can watch the full address here: