Original article: SELAMAT DATANG DI ABAD TEKNOLOGI INFORMASI! By: Zuhra Sofyan
I, you, and all of us are part of digital generations growing up in the virtual world that is rapidly evolving to the point where the need to connect to each other in virtual networks is normal and almost impossible to be denied from our daily live.
From all the sources of change of social values, creating the world which seems like there is no more cover, distance and space, or in Thomas L. Friedman’s term, “The flat world”, we can point out to a masterpiece of technology that has such a huge impact for the modern human race and the main cause of the term “The flat World” was born; Internet.
Internet was born from an American department of defense project to use the telephone network to transmit military information via the telephone network, which was then adopted widely by local colleges in the USA, and became the pioneer of the today’s internet.
Perhaps several years ago, only few were dared to predict that the information network emerging from that moment can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, anytime and about anything. The information we want to get now can be retrieved instantly from the internet, and just like everything else that is related to it. The knowledge which is obtained quickly without any filter does taste delicious, but often cause addiction for those who cannot control the dose.
Actually, there are two things that are unwittingly revoked from us when we connect ourselves to the virtual world: privacy and secrecy. To easily distinguish these two terms, secrecy is simply our secret, the thing we really want to keep from being noticed by others because it could give bad effects on us if others knew about it, whereas privacy is when we do mundane things, which will cause chaos to us and others if the public recognize them, so we choose not to let others know, record, analyse, and use them as a commercial object without our permission.
Unfortunately, the internet has nullified our privacy, and the public vigorously upload various personal data to be recorded as a commercial commodity on many cross-country servers. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and especially Google are just a few of the many companies which record the data of internet users.
Some of my future writing will be started from the anxiety over the social impacts and trade-offs that has been waiting behind the easy access of information available in the cyberspace. From that, I will review the technological phenomena, the virtual environment and the players behind it, the resistance community arisen against the gigantic power of privacy and online data robbers, including the shift in our social interactions that are somewhat influenced by the growth of information and technology especially the internet, where we may physically feel more individual, but virtually, can satisfy our desires and thirsts of information, including posted secret things that are not supposed to be shared publicly in the real world.
To be honest, probably the existence of my writing will be different from the others. However, it is just the culture of information and technology that might seem strange to us who are merely the laymen, but its inevitable presence and the ability to change the traditional life’s order is interesting to be discussed and examined in order to get a deeper understanding, because definitely it has become a part of our live and the more we understand, the wiser we can use the technology, because in the end, all kinds of technological inventions, the internet and all of its variants are only tools, and a good smith is the one who knows the way of the tools work.