Saturday, April 8, 2017

Technology: Loss or Gain of Culture?

Joe Joaquin made clear his belief that the internet access provided to young Tohono O'odham members was a major contributing factor to the deterioration of cultural identity. Specifically, he believed that the early influence of non traditional values would set a poor foundation for future preservation of cultural values. However honest and reliable Joe was as a source, I feel as though this statement was largely opinionated.

Internet access undoubtedly can lead to poor influence not condoned by traditional values. Let's get that statement out of the way. Joe wasn't wrong, I just don't think he considered the strong network that younger influences can create within the tribal community. For example, who would've known about Standing Rock if it weren't for social media? The influence that internet access has for younger generations may not teach them the traditional creation stories, but it seems naive to think that the social aspect of TO unity can't be enhanced through online networks. Even Chip Littlefield's coworker (member of the TON) wrote well educated and insightful articles relative to her beliefs and tribal values. Maybe it is a generational divide (my grandma think cell phones are ruining children), but I can't confidently say that the values of the tribe are strictly worse off due to the internet's influence on younger TO generations.

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