The world has witnessed numerous revolutions in the past century. Of these the most prominent ones that have marked the march of civilisation before the twentieth century are the Agricultural and the Industrial Revolution. With the advent of the 21st century, the world is witnessing the most powerful & life-changing revolution through the Information Highway, termed Information Revolution. If we go back a few years down history, then it would be amusing to see that a very limited number of people in our country really knew about something called Internet!! Of course, it might sound quite foolish if today someone asks ‘What is Internet?’ Because today literally everyone including the grandpa, grand maa to the watchman or a housemaid has heard about the internet & most are using it to make their life easy.
The internet, which is a worldwide network of computers that can be accessed from any home computer, is being branded as a technology of freedom and is being praised for its egalitarian trait. The cyber revolution, as it is called by the analysts, has, for all practical purposes, abolished distance and shrunk the world to make a boundaryless landscape. In one way it’s like a global consciousness that can put us in touch with like-minded people on a broad scale. The impact of this technology is so strong on our life that today it is nearly impossible to imagine how reality would look like and it’s even more difficult to believe that it may actually happen. Indeed it’s a factual dilemma that many parents & teachers are facing with today’s youngsters who are living more in the virtual world rather than the real one. Did anyone from us had ever imagined that we would one day have the ability to send videos through the air? We never anticipated that ordinary, everyday people would be able to communicate with thousands, if not millions of people instantaneously. However, in our optimism about the bright future through technological advancement, we tend to ignore certain ground realities about the limitations of the power of this technology which is growing so rapidly that sometimes it becomes difficult to discern whether it’s here to aid us or if we’re here to aid technology. To start with, we need to look at the facts that we are living in a world where over a billion people still live in abysmal poverty.
As per a recent survey, around 40% of the world’s population still lives at a basic subsistence level without any form of electricity while 21 % of the population guzzles 70 % of the world’s commercial energy output. This reality raises an important question that, can these new information technologies be considered as technologies of freedom? or are they mere weapon of destabilization and degeneration? It is said that technology was invented to aid humanity, but today we see something else! The technological advancement that was meant to empower the society has instead created an unequal configuration of world society wherein the most economically and technologically developed countries are in caucus league for self-interest in strengthening their privileged positions.This is nothing but another form of technological apartheid. Today information seems all set to become a new determinant of power.
There is absolutely no denial over the fact that the internet indeed offers the promise of better information, easier communication and an enhanced sense of community on paper. But can it be trusted to democratize societies? Well, that’s a big question !! Because with all its benefits, there is also a much darker side to this magical technology which is very scary & highly catastrophic. One of the major drawbacks of the internet is that it’s an open platform, where there is no differentiation for age and hence minor children could take up the wrong sites for surfing like pornography and negative informative sites. It’s a worldwide fact that internet is pioneering in spreading the culture of pornography by way of providing free sex & virtual sex sites which has resulted in an increasing amount of crimes like minor rape, gang rapes, molestation etc. The threat of constant connectivity has robbed humanity of its privacy because there is a constant fear in people’s mind of being clicked or getting shot by anybody with their mobile cam’s or spy cam’s.
Today, the powerful nations of the world use information warfare techniques extensively by way of surfing the internet day and night to grind up and dissect the information moving over it in order to poison and misinform as many people as possible, loot databases and electronic correspondence and endanger our elementary liberty to communicate freely. Similarly, these sophisticated techniques are also used by rebels, terrorists and other forces inimical to nation-states to create an imbalance.
Now, the question that arises here is that should we or shouldn’t use these technologies? If we sit down and think rationally, then we would realise that actually, it is not the internet but its misuse and abuse which is to be blamed for the emerging ills in society. We should remember that all technological advancement, including the cyber dimension of human development, lacks understanding of true identity & nature of the inner self which has led to boundless greed, ego and lust in human relationships. As a result, today the entire human race is paying heavily for its ignorance about the operation of spiritual laws. This is evident from the fact that the exploiters are no less peaceless and unhappy than the exploited. So what is the solution for this misery? Well!! the solution lies in bringing about a spiritual awakening that gives the realization that as eternal souls, we all are spiritual brothers who have one and the same eternal parent, the Supreme Soul. This realization would help us to interact with each other with love and compassion and use the technological marvels of our times for the common good of all. So c’mon let us engage ourselves in this important task of inner transformation so as to pave the way for a positive social change and en-mass global upliftment through Express-way.