We live in a world that is now more connected than ever. When it comes to technology, though it can be used for almost innumerable reasons, one of the major ways we employ and deploy it is to enhance, develop, and extend our ability to communicate. Since recorded time began, we have always been a species that is social. From writing letters to making phone calls, even before the birth and emergence of the internet we would find ways to connect with others, nurturing new friendships and maintaining old ones.
As society changes, so does the way we communicate with each other. With mobile devices ubiquitous and the internet accessible to billions, much of the way we interact with people is done virtually. Of course, this does not and cannot replace the authenticity and joy of actually being with people. That said, the online communication tools we now have at our disposable, in our pocket, in our hand, and on our desks have revolutionised the global connections that we can make with ease.
We all know that the internet is used for far more than personal and corporate communication. From banking to stock trading, real estate to hospitality, playing bitcoin blackjack games to watching movies on the go, the internet is not only everywhere it is used for almost everything you can think of. But does this virtual world mean we are always better connected, and do the means of communication now available to so many through this digital revolution divide us or unite us? The answer is neither simple, nor is it decided.
Social Media: Connecting, Controversial, Competitive
Part of the digital revolution was and remains the world of social media. Now a global phenomenon, with influencers making millions, companies using it to advertise and connect with consumers, sports teams employing it to share insights to their players, and so many other uses it would be impossible to list them exhaustively. The point is, social media connects, that is unequivocal, but it is also an ultra-competitive and often controversial industry and arena too.
Thanks to the advancements of technology access to social media is now greater than ever. With this, of course, comes the problems associated with so many users, so many platforms, and the always controversial topic of when and where those who own and run social media outlets should step in with regard to allowing, or disallowing content. For the many that use social media to chat, connect, share wonderful content and make their own business out of it, there will be those who have more nefarious intentions.
If we look at Twitter as an example, it is a wonderful way to connect with millions, express opinions, share multimedia, and even use to make an income. Even with so many virtuous uses, there are those who use it to spew bile, say hateful things, and in the very worst cases, incite people to violence or acts of hate. Thankfully, social media companies are taking more action, but does this controversial content outweigh the good? It depends on who you ask, but certainly social media has been a force for good, extending global communication and content possibilities but not without its issues.
Digital Development: Global Connections Bring Global Challenges
It is hard to deny that the world of online communication is not only expanding exponentially, but also fast becoming one of the main methods used in both social and business settings. As this digital development continues apace, with no sign of slowing, the challenges faced by both users and website, app, and social media companies and owners are also on the rise. Although the aims may be to make global connections easier, be that playing games together online or arranging multi-million dollar deals with people from another continent, this cannot be done without carefully marshalling the security and safety of all users.
In the general sense, digital development can be, and is beneficial to billions around the world. From growing infrastructure for developing cultures to the fun of online gaming, and everything in-between, as more opportunities arise the challenge to avoid being hacked, having your site hijacked by those with bad intentions, or even having social media content that breaches platform guidelines, this is not an easy frontier to police, moderate, or even control.
For any global business, transaction, or social interaction that is conducted online safety and security is paramount. Around the clock, companies and individuals are looking to protect from data breaches, illegal content, and many other things that can infect, disrupt or destroy online environments. This is not to say, of course, that digital development and technological advancement is not a good thing, merely that it is a wide landscape with nebulous borders and rules that are harder to enforce in a global context. So does the digital revolution unite or divide us? It does both, but we can at least say that the unification seems to be more globally embraced than the division. Long may that continue.