Ever imagined flying cars, artificial intelligence, holographic screens and robotic helpers? Inventors are bending backwards day and night trying to make these virtual dreams into a reality. The advanced technology that could help mankind, positively change the way we live our lives and change the way we view the world through augmented reality. The sci-fi movies might have probably predicted that it would exist in the near future and looking at what the world has achieved till this day, the time when these sci-fi imaginations come alive might be sooner. This futuristic era is identified as the New Digital Age.
The video above is a tidbit from a book written by Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, and Jared Cohen, founder and director of Google ideas. It talks about how the New Digital Age could contribute to a better, worse or different physical world.
As everyone is connected to each other through the Internet, a virtual world is created. Government would have to adapt and create policies for both virtual and real world to prevent cyber-war. When the virtual shapes up, it is not only the government that has to adapt, businesses need to adapt as well.
The Internet provides easy access for everyone to dig personal information for positive purposes and even negative purposes. Stealing and creating identity has made possible through the Internet. Possibilities for cyber terrorism will rise because of the world’s most important information is stored online and can be hacked by skilled hackers. Schmidt and Cohen said that in the digital age the most important question will not be ‘who is their charismatic leader’? but rather, ‘ who is their chief technology officer’?
The challenges that were described in the digital age are significant, but ultimately the outcome of a digital age is favourable. Billions of people will be connected online and it will accelerate the changes in our world than any period in the history of mankind, which is mainly contributed by the increasing use of handheld devices. Making us only a touch away from the virtual world. As the digital age develops, inequality abuse of power will still exist. But on the bright side of this digital age, everyone is connected; with broad connectivity and technological inclusion, equality of power can be dealt with through freedom of speech on the Internet (Schmidt and Cohen, 2013).
It amazes me how the Internet gives everyone the power to speak up and express him or herself. Enough said that the Internet, social media to be specific, is a powerful tool to empower, enlighten, and provoke the public. Getting exposure on the Internet is effortless when there is demand and supply. Here is a link to an article about an anonymous guy that uses Facebook to create a page called ‘We Are All Khaled Said’, to stand against the Egyptian’s officials that is full of conspiracies. The Facebook page allows people to post their findings on the dirty government conspiracy in Egypt and the page had actually made a difference on the outcome of the government’s action. It vividly shows an example of how Facebook has empowered people with no voices in the real world through anonymity in the virtual world.
As a conclusion, I would like to ask a digital expert; the developed technology nowadays gives power to the small people to speak up and influence and strengthen the public, however some people misuse those power and spread negativity instead such as cyber-bullying. So my question is, how can inventors of the technology prevent the spreading of negativity such as cyber-bullying’?
I took up the 24-hour offline challenge whereby I would not connect to my social media and online entertainment for one whole day and here are my thoughts.
At first I thought it wouldn’t matter much because on the day I was going to do the challenge I would be going out with my friends but I have never been so wrong in my entire life. It created problems that I wouldn’t and couldn’t have imagined when I was still connected online.
First thing in the morning, out of habit, I grabbed my phone to check if I had any messages and after then I realised that I was doing the no connection challenge. And so I put down my phone after I checked the time, it was 8.30 am. Because of web 2.0 that has enabled humans to do social networking, generate and share content, my usual morning routine goes on to checking on my social media timeline to find out what my friends are up to. But since I was devoted not to I went on straight to breakfast. It felt rather empty without knowing what your friends were up to last night and this morning. I know I am a tad bit exaggerating, but I really felt that I was living under a rock with no Internet connection. When usually news just comes to my handheld device in blink of an eye, this time I had to walk in front of the TV and browse through the channel to discover the latest news topic and sitcoms to fill in the emptiness. As social media allows people to connect, share and find new people online, it’s also used as a medium for news to travel, so when one is not connected online information travels slower, thus falling behind the pace of the digitized world we live in today.
After my breakfast, I went on to get ready for the lunch date. While getting ready, I turned on my iPod playlist and realised that the songs playing had gone out of date because normally I would open the Spotify application, which has recent and up-to-date songs that keeps me entertained throughout preparation. In this situation I realised that the Internet is a very easy medium of transacting, even when opening a simple app that allows me to listen to free music, it is considered as a transaction of service, whereby we allow ourselves to be exposed to the ads in exchange of free music, which is what the purpose of web 2.0 is.
As I proceed, it is to my disbelief that I had forgot to inform my friends on going through with the challenge. So they were trying to reach me through the instant messaging app, Line. And when I finally texted them that they had to reach me through text message or phone call they were outraged, telling me that it was so hard to get through me without Internet connection, because getting in touch with the traditional methods are not as fast as the conventional way. The increasing use of the Internet has made the world to become so reliant on instant messaging and has adapted to the ways it connects people easily that if we were to go back to the olden days it would slow down the pace this digitized world is moving
Proceeding to meeting up for lunch, I had to struggle on the way to the restaurant location. Without Google Map, I am as blind as a bat with directions. I had to ask the locals where Dempsey Hill is. When I finally reached my location, I was one hour late because I was misguided along the way. Everyone had already ordered their lunch and carried on with their meals. To that I was displeased and wished that this day could just be over in a second.
At the end of a very long day, I crashed my bed and sighed loudly thinking how dependent I am with such a small and light device that is present in my life. I believe that I am speaking this on behalf of people who live their lives on the habit of holding their handheld devices for entertainment or business purposes that without online connection living in this digitized era, is just simply dreadful.
‘The world has changed. The consumer has changed. Marketing has not.’
‘ The Digital Revolution
The role of a consumer in marketing has changed during this information age, where technologies allow people to be connected in a split second. In the past, marketers would push their ads into the lives of the consumer through television commercial, brochures, physical banners and so on. Even though it is still being used in today’s world, it is less affective compared to the conventional media. Why? You wonder?
According to an article in BBC News UK, people have less attention span than a goldfish and therefore it is not easy to expose an ad that consumers do not want to willingly view it. Because of the web 2.0 developments, they have gotten used to the fact that they can skip an ad or do other things to occupy themselves (such as opening another tab while waiting for the ad to finish) when an ad is running and choose what to view and not to view. Therefore consumers are now controlling the marketing system and have short attention span. Consumers connect, create, enjoy, learn and transact with others on web 2.0. Majority of the consumers use the Internet to influence one another. People trust peer recommendations more because they believe that they would not only tell their good experiences but also the unfavourable experiences as well. This article will give you the breakdown of changing consumer role in marketing (Mcintyre, 2013).
As a consumer, of course I have given some reviews and recommendation to colleagues and peers. Giving them the tidbits of a product or service I had tried using. Whenever I try a product or service that satisfy my needs and wants I would definitely recommend them to my circle. The reason behind it is because, as a good friend I believe that it is a good deed to recommend something nice to bring them a smile to their faces, when they are also satisfied with my recommendation. So in a way, it also brings satisfaction to myself for making others happy. In contrast, whenever I had a bad experience over a product or service I would babble on until I am satisfied and feels there is nothing to get anything out of my system anymore. The intention is not because I want some kind of revenge for wasting my resources, but more to prevent my friends or colleagues for making the same mistake as I did. In order to connect with my entire circle at a time, I usually use the most effective tool, which is social media. I feel a sense of usefulness to my community whenever I recommend a good stuff and all of my peers thank me for giving such a good recommendation.
Although the sense of influencing others is such a rush to me, I have never tried to influence the public. Therefore I have never used a famous reviewing site such as Change.org or TripAdvisor to write down my experiences for an establishment. However I have read a review from TripAdvisor to find a decent hotel during my visit to Sydney, Australia. And quite a shocking turn out for me, the reviews were very much useful to decide whether I should stay in that particular hotel or not. In the end I chose a hotel with a decent review that came with a great hotel location. After that experience I choose to believe the reviews on TripAdvisor. However I still would not want to contribute a review because I care about my close peers more than being a public influencer. As there goes a saying, ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’
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