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Montag, 23.10.2017
eGovernment Forschung | eGovernment Research 2001 - 2017

Digitisation, devices such as smartphones and the adaptation of technology have progressed at an amazing pace over the last decade. Paper books have evolved into e-books, DVDs into streamed films, CDs into MP3s, and road maps into GPS.

Business and personal correspondence fill digital mailboxes. Newspapers and the news flash on screens anywhere, anytime. Facebook has 1.9 billion users, an average person spends 35 minutes a day on the social network, and 350 million photos are uploaded daily.

The rate of technology adoption is accelerating. New technologies are outpacing the adoption of their predecessors.

Social media tool Google+ reached 10 million users in 16 days, compared with 780 days for Twitter and 852 days for Facebook, whereas the Internet took 10 years to become a basic part of daily life.

Singapore is also fast transforming into a digital society, thanks to early initiatives to turn it into a smart city with an e-governance framework, making residents’ lives efficient and comfortable, and providing relevant information at a click.

But there is a caveat. Is digitisation changing only our lifestyles, or also our core nature and values? Are we losing our identity and becoming controlled — slaves of a digitised society? (Slaves to the algorithm beat? Not quite; March 23)

Are we spending more time with smartphones and computers than with the people around us?

On public transport, do we still look at the passing fields, the roadside flowers and the sky in between, or notice the child rushing to school holding his mother’s hand?

Or can we not take our eyes off our smartphones?

The pertinent question is: Are we changing within, or are we only adapting to technology?

The findings on this in the book The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter, by Canadian journalist David Sax, are interesting and encouraging. We can see a trend of analogue initiatives co-existing with digitisation.

We still feel the warmth and pleasantness of reading a paperback versus an e-book. Sales of vinyl records have increased in developed, digitised countries.

It shows that our lifestyles are changing, but we are not.

Analogue initiatives should not symbolise backwardness, but rather, the securing of our individualism and self-esteem.

We still like flowers and their scent, prefer to chat in the presence of our friends rather than through WhatsApp, and drop by the bank sometimes rather than doing transactions online. The print edition of the newspaper starts our day.

Digitisation cannot provide fulfilment in life. There is no conflict with digitisation, however, as long it does not take control, and we preserve our own identity.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Atanu Roy

Quelle/Source: The Malay Mail Online, 13.04.2017

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