CHENNAI: The world has witnessed numerous revolutions in the past century. Of these the most prominent ones that have marked the march of civilisation was the agricultural and the industrial revolution. With the advent of 21st century, the world is witnessing the most powerful and life-changing revolution termed as information revolution.
If we go back a few years down the history, then it would be amusing to see that a very limited number of people in our country really knew about the Internet. Today, literally everyone including the grandpa, grandma to the watchman or a housemaid are using the Internet.
The cyber revolution, as it is called by the analysts, has, for all practical purposes, abolished distance. In one way, it’s like a global consciousness that can put us in touch with like-minded people on a broad scale. The impact of this technology is so strong on our life that today it is nearly impossible to live without it.
Indeed it’s a factual dilemma that many parents and teachers are facing with today’s youngsters who are living more in the virtual world rather then the real one. We never anticipated that ordinary, everyday people would be able to communicate with thousands, if not millions of people instantaneously. However, in our optimism about the bright future through technological advancement, we tend to ignore certain ground realities about the limitations of the power of this technology which is growing so rapidly.
As per a recent survey, around 40% of the world’s population still lives at a basic subsistence level without any form of electricity while 21% of the population guzzles 70% of the world’s commercial energy output. This reality raises an important question — can these new information technologies be considered as technologies of freedom? Or are they mere weapons of destabilisation and degeneration? Technological advancement that was meant to empower the society has instead created an unequal configuration of world society wherein the most economically and technologically developed countries are in caucus league for self-interest in strengthening their privileged positions.
This is nothing but another form of technological apartheid. Today information seems all set to become a new determinant of power. There is absolutely no denial of the fact that the Internet indeed offers the promise of better information, easier communication and an enhanced sense of community on paper. But can it be trusted to democratise societies?
One of the major drawback of the Internet is that it’s an open platform,where there is no differentiation and hence minor children are vulnerable to many negative information. Also, there constant threat of robbing someone’s privacy. There is constant fear in people’s mind of being clicked or getting shot by anybody with their mobile camera or spy cams.
The powerful nations of the world use information warfare techniques extensively in order to poison and misinform the mass, loot databases and electronic correspondence and endanger our elementary liberty to communicate freely. Similary, these technologies are also being used by rebels, terrorists and other forces to create unrest.Now, the question that arises here is that should we or shouldn’t we use these technology? We should remember that all technological advancement lacks understanding of true identity and nature of the inner-self. The solution lies in bringing about a spiritual awakening that gives the realisation that as eternal souls. This will help us to interact with each other with love and compassion.