TS, Internet and Young Members
- Anyone who was at the recent Convention at Adyar, would have noticed a
simple fact. There were very few young men and women. 99% were old greying
men and women. In five years time, we can expect 5 to 10% to pass on. So
one should question why TS is not attracting young men and women. This is a
very important question that directly addresses the future of TS. We all
know there is continuing decline in the membership in most countries of the
world excluding India. In the past, membership issue is a hot potato that
no leader wants to touch. We do not know what business was transacted at
the recent General Council meeting. Did anyone bring up this important
issue and discuss what steps can be taken to address it?
During the flight from USA to Chennai, the small group of old and young
which travelled, noticed one very important fact. Every young man and woman
in the flight had a high end wireless phone. That is the main gadget of
contact with the world for most varied applications starting with phone
calls, send and receive email, GPS, book tickets for travel and
entertainment, read books and publications, you name it. Most hotels and
public places have Wifi Internet available and even airlines are working on
making Wifi available in flights.
TS has traditionally been too far behind on the use of Internet technology
to spread the word. TS needs to catchup quickly if we want to bring in
younger generation. We need to find ways and means to use Internet to help
it to grow and TS has no choice.
Even at Adyar, Wifi could not be found anywhere. We were told that
broadband is available in the TS offices and we do not know how it is used
for furthering the spread of theosophy.
Unless one uses Internet and the applications available, one cannot get
first hand appreciation of what its capabilities are and how it is a very
powerful tool to assist us to effectively to accomplish many tasks.
The above is not a critique of Adyar alone. Even in the USA, more than a
decade ago, I noticed TS leaders avoiding use of Internet and Fax for
exchange of correspondence with members, opting for paper and snailmail. So
the mindset needs to be addressed, and done urgently.
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