Knowing when to say no to new technology

In the West we tend to have a particularly hard time saying “no” to any new technology that comes along. This is rather unfortunate on our part. New technologies carry with them fundamental changes or shifts in our culture. And not every shift or change is well thought out, anticipated, or even beneficial.

In 2006 the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, decided to ban the use of camera phones after his wife inadvertently received pornographic pictures on her new phone.

I have written to the Minister of Telecommunications to delay the use of certain mobile phones. We can wait 10 more years until we have managed to improve morality in society. -Hun Sen

Of course, Hun was ridiculed at the time by almost every news outlet in the West. Who wouldn’t want a camera phone? What a Luddite

But with sexting becoming such a problem among teenagers I am left wondering. Was Hun Sen’s decision really so outlandish? What if Hun Sen was able to understand something we in the West desperately need to learn.

Namely, when to say no (or not yet) to new technology.

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