Digital Revolution vs Social Revolution

 

“If Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populous one and the most connected. Google today has made teachers less awe-inspiring and grandparents more idle. Twitter has turned everyone into a reporter. The traffic lights that need to work the best are on CISCO routers.”

– Narendra Modi at Silicon Valley as on 26th September 2015

Digital revolution has become the backbone of economic, technological, and social prosperity after the industrial revolution. Driven by high-speed Internet connectivity and innovative products and services it has became the next verge in ones life that one can’t live without. The creation of World Wide Web helped revolutionize the communication systems and made Internet an essential part of every business and in person. The medium of communication has changed rapidly and mobile communication has become an inevitable part of life. The Internet users rose as mobile devices enabled easy and faster connectivity. Instant messengers and chat-rooms replaced the voice communication while e-commerce is bringing a paradigm shift in the way people shop. We are now getting into the era of Internet of things and augmented reality.

India has become the second largest country of 352,340,854 Internet users, leaving behind United States and Japan. India has nearly 970 million mobile phones of which over 95% are wireless phones and over 22% are smart-phones. India also has nearly 100 million broadband connections, and there are many low-cost handsets and rich smart-phones which are now available for less than Rs 10,000.

On the social media front LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network with over 364 million members globally, said it has crossed 30 million members in India. WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in Feb. 2014, had 700 million global users, of these, an estimated 10% users are from India. Facebook itself has around 1.3 billion global users and about 110 million in from India.

The advent of new information technologies and communication platform has not only connected the people all round the globe but also provided a source where they can shout out loud to make their voice listen globally. Digital media has helped very much in revolutionizing social change in India or globally. The very best example can be quoted is during the Nepal earthquake through Facebook. Over Seven million people in Nepal used Facebook to reach out to over 150 million friends and family members across the globe. More than 150 million friends were notified and those updates let people rest and relief efforts remain focused. Facebook gave people the opinion to support local relief efforts and in just two days, more than half-a-million people donated and raised more than $10 million to support the relief effort. It also said that the social networking site raised over $10 million (Rs 1.2 billion) in just two days for the victims.

Digitalization will not only solve the world problem but it has served a very powerful tool in imparting democracy, education and justice on a national and international front. It has widely helped in advocacy and activism. Digitalization has put oft-ignored disease into the collective consciousness and it’s not a big surprise that it got laws changed in India.

Yes, there is more need to be done…the more of us take on the burden, the lighter the weight will be.

By – Anand Kumar

Deputy Manager – Media Campaign, Fiinovation

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One thought on “Digital Revolution vs Social Revolution

  1. Nick_RDX says:

    The most fundamental debate for our youth is the choice between Android, iOS or Windows.

    — Prime Minister Narendra Modi

    A glib modernity has embossed the belief that technology can bring about the liberation of human beings.What bothers me is not the digital divide, but the fundamental divide between a rapidly growing technological capability and a snail-like growth in eliminating human deprivation. All the governments post independence have grievously ignored the fundamental bases of development, health and education, leading to colossal failures in eliminating deprivation. It should not be a surprise that in 2011, 50 per cent of rural India was illiterate or semiliterate! Or that dengue grips Delhi now! All this is the result of a shallow understanding of development as merely economic growth and progress in science and technology, rather than ensuring basic human dignity.

    We therefore, are in a conjuncture in which 71 per cent of rural India owns mobile phones while 75 per cent of it lives on Rs. 33 per day.

    The idea of attacking poverty, religious bigotry, infrastructure, health and education issues by just by merely increasing the mobile connectivity or creating e-data bases in a country that ranks 55 in the Global Hunger Index is just seems to be a fantasy. The era of globalisation has exposed us to the outside world. Today, a carpet made in the varanasi would not get buyers in Europe, if that company employed child laborers to manufacture it. This can further lead to the total ban of the Indian handicrafts and carpets in the European markets. It might seems to be a small instance to many of us about beef-lynching however the world acknowledged it even the US president Obama tweeted about the incident. This all conveys a picture of a cankered social fabric and intolerance which further can be detrimental to the campaign like- Make in India. Moreover, even after the 68 years of the independence we do not have a uniform civil code, Muslim personal law exists, uttering 3 times talaq, polygamy is still okay under the Muslim laws and even the rules pertaining to Hindu undivided families still exists. It would have been much appreciated if the governments bring in such radical reforms. It is time to realise that the future of India is not in the “fundamental debate” about the “choice between Android, iOS or Windows” it lies in the building of a pluralistic and egalitarian society, which will not sacrifice human beings for technological utopias and which will ensure that the benefits of technology are harnessed in a socially just manner.

    Liked by 1 person

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