The New Digital Society
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
Created on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 17:44
Apart from all the criticism of the new world of globalization and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) as the cause of inequality, displacement, cultural uniformity, disturbance of private space, rising unemployment without lower production volume and the persistence of a high supply of goods and services in an increasingly poorer society, one cannot help thinking that the new society with its high level of high-tech communication is a living reality and that coming generations have to be prepared using other educational concepts, other social paradigms and progressive critical thinking so that they can adapt and achieve a reasonable level of domestic life in the new digital world.
The reality of the new digital world is that human beings of today have completely changed their forms of communication in accordance with the internet, fashion and online trends. What is used nowadays are abbreviations, icons and very short messages. A verbal communication is preceded by a # hashtag which is a sign to label the topic. It seems like a joke, but for the new generations the last function of a cell phone is to make phone calls to other people. Most important are chat-type applications and social networks. Communication in person has also fallen off, regardless of geography. One no longer says ‘I’ll call you,’ but ‘I’ll send you a whatsapp’. And for live communication online the expression used is ‘to connect.’
In all media situations and at social gatherings, memes are the order of the day and no one is spared from appearing in the series of images memetized by present-day society. These days there are very short videos on the Internet called ‘vines’. The range of emoticons has been expanded to cover all racial types and the most important icon and synonym for acceptance, admiration, approval or socialization is ‘like’. A thumbs-up means everything to millennials and other younger generations, while popularity is measured by the word ‘likes’
When they are ‘connected’ online, the famous WhatsApp double tick is used to see if the message has been read on the various networks. Previously a person’s state of mind could not be transmitted over the internet, but today not only does conversation take place in a planned way, but there are options and icons to express how you feel and to communicate it to your friends.
The possibility offered by the internet to navigate ‘text to text’ or ‘link information’ is called hypertext. Each ‘link’ is a potential text, a way to improve or expand information and in a few cases to provide knowledge.
Technology has removed human feeling from emotions and relationships between people. It has completely changed the way humans communicate, socialize, seek employment and relate to each other in the place where they live or where they work. Technology is being given an individualistic quality that has been rapidly changing the relationship between human beings in society, whether to make them more sociable or more isolated and lonely.
While age, education, level of rationality and gender are still the factors that cause a great change in the particular way of being of people today, technology has not changed the essential nature of human beings at all; it has only facilitated their communication, but it has failed to change the prevailing negative habits that have accompanied them throughout history.
Addendum: With the exception of a few miracle workers throughout history, like Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Christ and a few others, across time negative attitudes in humans, such as vanity, revenge, violence, megalomania and narcissism have prevailed over positive qualities such as love, generosity, solidarity and a sense of freedom. These positive behaviors have only existed in the hypocritical minds of the aristocrats who invented them to please the King of France at the height of his empire in the eighteenth century, and in the heads of the previously mentioned miracle workers, the vast majority of whom did not succeed in turning their myths into reality.