All the hype about how connected you are has contributed to a counternarrative ó that, in fact, your generation is increasingly disconnected from the things that matter. The arguments go something like this: Instead of spending time with friends, you spend it alone, collecting friend requests. Rather than savoring your food, you take pictures of it and post them on
Facebook. I want to encourage you to reject the cynics who say technology is flattening your experience of the world. ... Technology is just a tool. Itís a powerful tool, but itís just a tool. Deep human connection is very different. Itís not a tool. Itís not a means to an end. It is the end ó the purpose and the result of a meaningful life ó and it will inspire the most amazing acts of love, generosity and humanity. ...
I want you to connect because I believe it will inspire you to do something, to make a difference in the world. Humanity in the abstract will never inspire you in the same way as the human beings you meet. Poverty is not going to motivate you. But people will motivate you.
-- Melinda Gates, 2013 commencement address at Duke University