Reflections of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Empathy, Sensitivity & Compassion Lagging in the Digital Age

 An Important Voice for America

It’s a documented and well known fact that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the most important voice of the American civil rights movement, which worked for equal rights for all. In the mid 1960s, he was largely responsible for the passing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act for African Americans.

In his “I Have A Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr., shared a vision of a future in which “this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all me are created equal.’”

 

Speaking About Technological Abundance

Martin Luther King Jr also voiced his concerns that mankind’s inability to care for one another was in “glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance.”

Dr. King said, “Modern man has brought this whole world to an awe-inspiring threshold of the future. He has reached new and astonishing peaks of scientific success. He has produced machines that think and instruments that peer into the unfathomable ranges of interstellar space. He has built gigantic bridges to span the seas and gargantuan buildings to kiss the skies. His airplanes and spaceships have dwarfed distance, placed time in chains, and carved highways through the stratosphere. This is a dazzling picture of modern man’s scientific and technological progress”

 Questions Worth Asking

If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today, what would he say about technology in relation to accessibility to information, connectedness, the Internet, cybersecurity, cyber crimes, social media, the numerous devices demanding hours of screen time each day and, most recently, facial recognition software? What would Dr. King say about the impact of social media on our young people?

Responses Worth Discussing

6th Grade Student, “I believe Dr. King would be surprised at how available devices and apps are to people of all ages and how many hours a day my friends and I spend on social media.“

8th Grade Student, “I think Dr. King would have a lot to say about fake news, how quickly information travels on the internet, and about our lack of real life connectedness and empathy for one another.”

High School Student, “Dr. King was revolutionary in his thinking, a humanitarian, and an important leader. If he were alive today, he would recognize the positives of technology while gently offering advice for using our technological advances for the good of all mankind. About the impact of social media ~ I doubt he would be too happy about the lack of sensitivity and addictive nature of social media.”

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