Young people are being urged to take advantage of the Internet, including social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, to transmit their original ideas to a worldwide audience.
Executive Director of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica (BCJ), Cordel Green, in his address to sixth form students of Glenmuir High School in Clarendon on Tuesday, February 19 ,said they should seek to be “uploaders rather than downloaders” of content.
“A lot of us read information that is being put up on the Internet from all kinds of people and we are not yet understanding that for the first time in human history, we have the great equaliser called the Internet. It matters not your background, your geographical location; you can be transformational with your ideas,” he stated.
Mr. Green, who spoke on the topic: ‘The Future is Digital’, cited the example of Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg, who created the social networking site in a college dormitory and is the youngest billionaire in the world.
He also mentioned Jamaican Saadiq Rodgers-King, who created Hot Potato, a social networking site, which links and facilitates people based on shared interests. Hot Potato was later acquired by Facebook at a cost of some US$10 million.
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Mr. Green urged the youngsters to learn from these examples.
“We are not talking about people, who are removed from anybody in this world, we are talking about people, who understand that they are living in a transformed, borderless and always-on world and they are taking advantage of that,” he stated.
Mr. Green also advised the students to watch what they post on the Internet and to observe radio and television ratings to ensure that they are not exposed to inappropriate content.
Sixth former and prefect, Mikhail Henry, who thanked Mr. Green for his presentation, said it was “very informative and empowering”. He urged his fellow classmates to use the Internet as a tool for transformation.
“We are the future and we can be the future creators,” he stated.
Another student, Peta-Gaye Barclay, said that while she has never really thought about the scope of the digital world, the presentation opened her eyes to the many possibilities.
Mr. Green’s presentation at Glenmuir was part of the BCJ’s media literacy project.