Once upon a time but really not very long ago, access to the internet would not have been deemed as an essential tool to improve quality of life. Nowadays, we can barely imagine life without this invisible web of connectivity that constantly surrounds us.
Besides the obvious advantages of better communication, potentials for education, business opportunities, increased political monitoring of every species of government, and even dramatic healthcare improvement, there is another aspect of the increasing connection of our world.
That’s the human aspect. It’s no longer possible to be unaware of famines in Africa, flooding in Asia, earthquakes in formerly remote areas. And with those news reports, come images, videos, pictures from smart phones, pictures from satellites.
With connection, we are becoming more aware of each other. Along with all of these disasters has simultaneously arisen an outcry for help, and charity. Social networks in particular have answered these needs in ever-growing and at frequently astonishing levels.
We are truly becoming a global society and, as we help other people on the other side of the planet, we are also, perhaps unsurprisingly but inevitably, losing that distinction of “other.”
I just checked the numbers I’ve been using for this indicator, “Internet Users,” from the World Bank, and they seem to have changed. I’m guessing they’ve gone up and I can’t wait to find out how! (And they don’t even reflect this exciting fact yet: Liberia just brought ashore its first deep sea fiber optic cable. This is going to speed up the internet in West Africa even more quickly and opens up all sorts of possibilities for growth.)
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. I meant to include more here on the current internet and education synergy but got sidetracked. However, I will certainly return to this subject because it is simply amazing to me what is happening with the convergence of those two worlds as well as the introduction of “gamification.”