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According to Steven Spielberg's ‘Ready Player One,' the future of the world is bleak–complete with all the famine, poverty, and warfare you'd expect to find in a perfect dystopia.
The reality of life is so harsh that most people–including protagonist Wade Watts–spend most of their time in the OASIS, a global virtual reality world.
It seems that most moviegoers have responded to the film in one of two ways: they either think modern technologies like VR are the answer to all of our problems, or they think those technologies are the reason for all of our problems in the first place.
We think they're both missing a very important point.
Which is a shame, because it's a point that is more important now than ever. The message is this:
We, as people, are responsible for using modern technology to create a better world.
In terms of human history, there have never been more powerful, more far-reaching, or more impactful resources than the ones at our disposal now.
Modern technologies like the Internet have given greater gravity to the question: What is possible?
Despite the vast and obvious benefits, 11% of Americans still aren't online.
According to PEW Research Center, here are the major reasons those people haven't joined us on the World Wide Web:
We've got good news for you but we'll give you the bad news first:
In general, all of those fears are keeping you from the amazing opportunities available to you.
Can having the Internet really be that big of a deal?
Put simply, yes.
Long gone are the days where you could get by with making a trip to your local library when you needed to send an important email or look something up.
Everything about the world in which we live at present is tech-centric. Yes, we mean everything.
From the framework of the global economy to the convenience of e-commerce, to grass-roots and hands-dirty industries like agriculture–they've all gone digital. And according to the stats, they're better for it.
What this means for you is that while you don't necessarily have to be tech-savvy (although, it definitely helps), you do have to be at least a little bit online to participate in most societal activity these days.
Are you saying I can't run a business without Internet access?
Fact is, businesses owned by baby-boomers are consistently losing business to tech-savvy and social-media smart business owners.
Today, more than half of the global population is online. Millenial business people and professionals—having grown up online—understand that the Internet has given them more reach than any generation before. And they know how to extend their reach further still.
If you want to compete in business today–no matter the industry–you have to establish an online presence, or at least be easy to find online. Today's consumers expect to be able to find products, businesses, and services easily online. If you're not online, it's only a matter of time before you stop being found.
What's more, not being online makes it harder to attract talent. As the Internet continues to broaden the horizons for literally everyone, more people are leaving their hometowns for employment opportunities. This is especially true for America's rural and small-town communities.
In fact, small towns in the Deep South with the lowest rates of both Internet adoption and e-commerce activity are currently experiencing the highest rate of unemployment nationwide.
But, we know that greater connectivity can help improve our communities, that's why we do what we do. Meanwhile, that's what most critics of ‘Ready Player One' seem to have missed. You, too, can use technology to create a better world–all you have to do is use it. Not to hide from real life inside a utopian video game, but to build community, strengthening the bonds between loved ones and neighbors.
Just after the opening credits of ‘Ready Player One,' Wade Watts descends a vertical stack of mobile homes, just one of many in the slums of America in the year 2045, and starts getting dressed for the OASIS. To quote Watts:
"People come to the OASIS for all the things they can do. They stay for all the things they can be."
So, look around. Because you are living in the real world. And there's no shortage of what you can do. There's no shortage of what you can be.
Start creating new possibility in your life today
Visit www.fidelitycommunications.com today for the best in modern technology and high-speed Internet.
With our tech and your passion, the future is perfectly utopian.