When one creates a Facebook or a Twitter account one is not asked of one’s country name or identification number, this proves the fact that technology has changed identities.
The impact of digital technologies on the society invites mixed responses from different sections of the society. Some deem it as detrimental to society as it restricts a person’s ability to conceive new ideas as Steven Spielberg asserts that “[Technology] interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful.”; there are others who think that technology has improved our society bridging the gaps of communication which were faced by earlier civilizations. Technology has enabled people to connect with others in far distanced land, to take part in online debates and watch news of foreign lands that was never possible in the past.
Changes made by Digital technologies in human life
New digital technologies have transformed lives of man in manifold ways. The barriers of communication have been traversed through latest media and information technologies. Nowadays people can connect with others far across the borders through internet, watch the news about foreign lands and get involved in debates that were impossible before. These new inventions have influenced Identities of individuals, social institutions and international relations. These identities may be virtual reality and may not be available to every person but they have profoundly impacted the society.
How digital technologies have changed identities?
Social media and television have changed individual identities in multiple ways. First and foremost, social media and television have changed men’s interests and shopping style. Retrospectively,people used to buy products based on their necessities; the luxuries of life were seldom bought in the society. But with the advent of advertisements, the tastes of the people have changed. Today people are lured into buying stuff they had never thought earlier. For example, the ads of new houses, electrical appliances and several consumer products develop man’s curiosity for buying them.Similarly, friends’ post of new car or bike may invoke interests of an individual for purchasing it.
Changes in personal habits due to technology
In addition to the personal predilections, personality traits have also changed due to technological inventions. In the past social interaction were less frequent, so few people bothered about being fat, tall, short, fair colored, etc. With the emergence of new technologies,however, the concerns have changed. People try to look smart in social media pictures and videos. Individuals attempt different means to improve their style like going to gym, beauty salons and various other places which they would never have visited some time ago. It would have been impossible without the new innovations of science.
Impact of Digital technologies on social dynamics
Besides individual life, society has also evolved because of digital technologies. Social institutions and social identifications have changed from conventional to virtual world. The traditional demarcation of gender, race and ethnic identities are no more relevant. As in social media people after have fake identities, therefore personal identity even may not matter in cyberspace. It has, for instance,become natural to have fake name or age. As the quotation illustrates “When one is trying to receive donated blood, one is concerned, not with who it came from, but the type and whether it is safe.” Similarly in movies actors often play roles that is in contradiction with their real identity. Likewise, a male player may become female character in video games for gaining advantage. Thus,social stratification have changed through television and social media.
Internet transformed social institutions
Apart from social identities, social institutions have transformed because of internet. The family responsibilities have changed as women are now able to work online crossing the traditional role of male bread-winners. Also, the strength of men which was needed in labor is no longer needed with the invention of CNC machines. This has made women more independent in their life. They can take their decisions at liberty.
The mosques and other religious institutions are not the only source of religious knowledge. Numerous forums have been created which provide knowledge of faith. The role of pulpit has modified. People are being affected by the divergent views found in distanced land. Moreover, the religious identity i.e. Muslim, Hindu or Christian matter less in the virtual domain as online businesses are being carried out without need of identification. For example, when people buy something online on websites they are only asked about their name and address further details are not necessary.
Similarly, schools and colleges have also lost significance as the only center of knowledge. Search engines like ‘google’and ‘bing’ are increasingly being used for tapping information. Online libraries have been created where one can read ebooks and magazines. Video lectures of eminent scholars are available. Hence, modes of knowledge have been diversified through technology.
Technology has altered International Relations
In addition to individual and social domain, technology has also affected international relations. Global integrated markets and trade, which has been made possible through new information systems, are leading the world towards internationalism. As Facebook, twitter and other social media sites are beyond national identity, scientists are predicting world to be even more integrated as the science progress.
Another factor influencing international relations is online psychological warfare. Every nation is trying online to perpetuate its ideologies through online forums and in influencing public opinions. Moreover, populist leaders living in foreign nations are able to attract attentions of public audiences. For example President Trump’s comments on Muslims and European nations are evoking responses from the respective public. It may be argued that cyberspace has developed fictional world where all people have started living virtual life instead of focusing on real life problems. But this characteristic is why people use it. For example, introvert people have found a forum on the internet where they can assert their views with confidence. It has also given voice to women of conservative societies who did not have liberty to communicate with others. Similarly, disabled persons are no more disadvantaged as they perform tasks from home which they were never able to do in the past.
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