BlackBerry-loving President Barack Obama declared war on technology, singling out Apple’s super-popular iPods and iPads for criticism at a commencement ceremony in Virginia, the New York Post reported Monday.
Obama — whose election was credited in part to his skillful use of modern media, from smartphones to Twitter to Flickr — on Sunday told college graduates that high-tech gizmos and apps were straining American democracy.
“With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation,” Obama said at Hampton University in southeastern Virginia.
Obama described the most popular offerings of companies like Apple, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo as distractions that are putting unnecessary pressure on the country.
Obama also lamented the spread of social media and blogs, through which “some of the craziest claims can quickly claim traction.”
“All of this is not only putting new pressures on you,” Obama said. “It is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.”
“We can’t stop these changes,” he said, “but we can adapt to them. And education is what can allow us to do so. It can fortify you, as it did earlier generations, to meet the tests of your own time.”