Is Connectedness Always Good ???

It is often said that tools don’t matter.It’s our intentions and preferences that count. Vehicles are just the fecilitators, it’s the driver who gets to decide where to go. The same thing is being said about technology. Technology itself is not inherently good or bad. It’s the user who has the ultimate authority.

But in recent years, there have been many studies and researches in this field which suggest otherwise. Technology does affect the process of our usage. It influences our decisions and thinking. Renowned author Nicholas Carr aptly explain this point in his book 'The Shallows”.

Take the example of Twitter. It allows users to disseminate information, express their opinions and help to stay connected. It allows to do so in 140 characters​. Now, when you are stating some facts, this 140 characters limit can be enough. But nowadays, Twitter is being used for a wide range of tasks. When you want to express your opinion on some serious issues, 140 characters limit is sometimes unhelpful. Because Twitter imposes this limitations, people try to say as many things as possible in 140 characters limit. And this situation can lead to some misunderstanding and conflict between individuals.

Due to democratization of technology, more and more people are being connected. There are numerous tools to express ourselves. The proliferation of technology and availability of Internet far exceeds the availability of quality basic education in countries like India. So people with limited knowledge often express their opinions. There is nothing wrong in that expression​ but the only problem is that those opinions are not informed opinions.

Another disadvantage of social media is its easy availability. This aspect is always considered a virtue, but there is a downside to it as well. This downside mostly affects public figures like political leaders and celebrities. Earlier, when you have to reach out to a large number of people, you have to organize a rally or a physical gathering or write down a book. You express yourself through well drafted speech or essays. Not all the public speeches or books are well delivered or well written but in that situation, at least you have chance to prepare well in advance. The situation is changed now. In this information age, we are connected 24×7 to a large number of people. Public figures take advantage of this situation to reach out to millions of people. However, sometimes they react to some incidents instantly. And in being fast, they just don’t fully thought out their opinions. Due to anger or over passionate about something, they express themselves in an uncivilized manner, which they themselves regret after some time. So, yes, ease of access is generally beneficial, it can also be harmful to the reputation.

To avoid all these, awareness about the guidelines needs to be done among general public. More on this, later… !!!