In less than twenty years the digital revolution has affected the way we shop, communicate, travel, entertain, work, and even find love. The immersion of human functions with digital technology is real, and will soon move from being external to internal. At the rate we’re going it will not surprise me if smartphones come in the form of an implant rather than an object you carry around.
Before we get into the pros and cons of digital technology a brief historical reference is proper. While the most rapid advancement in technology happened in the 2000s, the other decades came with establishing the grid that allowed the digital revolution to thrive.
Digital Revolution Brief History
I suspect a great deal of the technology we’re using today came from the Roswell crash in the late 1940s. Some speculated that an alien ship crashed. There were eyewitnesses, but the military-industrial complex and intelligence agencies managed to convince most Americans it was a high-flying weather balloon that crashed.
Something needed to happen to usher in the coming digital age, and the perfect cover was the Vietnam war and the women’s movement for equal rights. The war brought massive drug use to the doorstep of most American homes. Colored television came into being in the late 1950s, but its potential was not fully realized until the 1960s and 1970s.
The 1960s saw the introduction of television shows to challenge the concept of the traditional family. Television sets got bigger, brighter, and more lifelike. The colored television set became a status symbol that most well to do American homes wanted. Slowly, the TV tube became larger with smaller components.
The same thing that happened to the television set occurred with the radio set. Radio used to be a huge thing that took up a large space in any living room, and just like magic, it got smaller and smaller. We moved into the era of the transistor radio, which gave most people the idea that entertainment can be traveled with.
The television set did not become ubiquitous in our lives until the introduction of 24-hours programming. I remember when television shut down at midnight with that annoying beeping noise. Twenty-four hours television programming was introduced in bits and pieces in the 1980s but got into full swing when CNN debuted the concept of 24/7 news circle.
In the 1980s beepers and pagers that used to be for only military use became widely available to the masses. Simultaneously, cellphones that used to be only for military and high corporate use started to appear in the public domain. In the eighties, the cellphones I saw were bulky and looked like large briefcases.
Suddenly, the briefcase concept of the cellphone vanished to be replaced by something much smaller. It was in the 1980s that cordless home phones became widely used. Payphones created another venue for instant communication and became ubiquitous in every corner of most American major cities.
At the same time, the way the written word is created was going through its digital revolution. From the mechanical typewriter, we moved into the age of word processors. This was the initial phase for the mass introduction of the modern-day computer.
The original internet was reserved for military communication use. After the acceptance of the home computer setup, the internet was the logical next step in this digital revolution. Americans and people of other countries fell in love with the internet almost overnight.
From my research, the digital revolution will continue at its rapid pace until it is fully immersed in all human activities including bodily functions. After this brief history of the digital revolution, let us examine the positive things it enabled in our society at large.
13 Advantages of the Digital Revolution
1 – Instant Communication
It is now possible to connect with people instantly almost anywhere in the world. Say goodbye to sending telegrams and emails. Why would I send you an email when I can just call you up, even if you’re in China. The way one can initiate instant communication is growing every day, to the growing dismay of intelligence agencies around the world.
2 – Educational Benefits
Sooner rather than later, most educational learning will be done over the internet. It is now possible to get a college degree from attending classes only online, and I expect that trend to accelerate in the coming years into high school and middle school. Quietly, some hidden forces are pushing the adoption of E-learning to replace the traditional schooling model that we currently have.
3 – Information Availability
What used to require a trip to the library can now be accomplished right in the comfort of your own home. Need to know why the Bible was written, all you have to do is just Google it. The level of information available at our fingertips is unimaginable just a few years ago. Whatever you can think of, there are loads of digital information to satisfy your curious mind.
4 – 24/7 Shopping
Never in a million years did I think it would be possible to order just about anything online and have it delivered to your front porch. Online shopping is growing at an astronomical rate and will soon surpass the traditional shopping format.
Ten years from now, I expect online sales of goods and services to be on par with traditional bricks and mortar store sales. The list of goods one can buy online is growing day by day. Someone close to me just bought a brand new car from a dealership in another state, and it was delivered to his doorstep within three days.
5 – Information Storage
Papers are slowly being rendered obsolete due to this revolution. Most major firms now use digital storage facilities to keep documents that can be accessed from almost anywhere in the world. Unlike the traditional filing system, the capabilities of digital information storage are virtually limitless.
6 – Social Connectivity
It is now possible to socially connect with relatives, friends, ex-classmates, at the push of a button. The level of sharing of tidbits of personal information is shocking, but most people find it useful. Are you lonely at home? Just go online and you can connect with people looking for instant dates with no attachments. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many other social platforms are experiencing massive growth rates I never thought possible.
7 – Travel Directions
Gone are the days when couples used to argue about where to make the right turns during travel. Most smartphones now come with Apps that can guide from point A to B. All you have to do is input the address for both locations and a sweet-sounding voice will assist you along the way. Gone are the days of looking through maps and creating a detailed travel itinerary to follow.
8 – Remote Working
Have you called the customer service hotline of any large America company lately? Chances are the voice on the other line is based in another country. The digital revolution made it possible and profitable to outsource many types of work without affecting productivity. Most major firms are now incorporating work from home days that can be utilized by most employees.
9 – Working Collaboration
The digital space has made it possible to conduct meetings with hundred’s even thousand’s of people at the same time. The presenter and attendees can be virtually present with real-time video clips regardless of distance and location, as long as there is a reliable internet connection.
10 – Instant 24/7 News Cycle
No more waiting for your gossiping neighbor to tell you what happened down the block, or in another city or country. The access to news about war, crime or celebrity gossip is unparalleled, to say the least.
11 – Online Banking
People are now able to do all types of banking right from the comfort of their own homes. It is now possible to deposit, wire, or transfer funds without stepping foot in any banking hall. International banking is also now available to the masses.
12 – Investment Deployment
Just go to any Starbucks location in the USA and you’ll probably find people conduction day trading while sipping a cup of mocha. The digital revolution made it possible to make investments online from home. My next-door neighbor trades oil for a living and he rarely ventures out to the office. Many have become multi-millionaires riding this digital wave of instant financial investments and rewards.
13 – Entertainment Galore
Whatever suits your fancy you can find it online. Just take a look at Amazon prime, there are movies from virtually every part of the world. You can find Indian, African, Russian, etc movies on this fast-growing platform. The vast array of music, movies available online is growing every minute of the day.
Other Digital Revolution Pros
The other digital revolution pros include: Gone are the days of pricing anomalies in the marketplace. It is much easier to find competing prices for popular products sold online. Not only is there name search but also picture search.
It is getting harder and harder for people to hide online, especially once their real identity has been confirmed. Gone are the days of going to your local precinct to get the list of potential child predators living within your area, for it can now all be done with a few entries on your computer keyboard. I am sure, our resourceful readers can come up with additional advantages of the digital revolution, or better yet, just Google it.
Cons of the Digital revolution
I have learned in my older years that every action comes with an opposite reaction. When you acquire a million dollars benefits and problems will come calling with equal force, and this digital revolution is no exception to this rule.
As time progresses, the evils of the digital revolution will be more noticeable, but here are the major downsides to digital technology:
1 – Anything Online Can Be Hacked
Anything stored online can be hacked, regardless of the type of encryption technology used. Data breaches will become more and more frequent, based on the way programming works. No information is safe if it is stored on a digital device or space. The data breaches you read about online are just the tip of the iceberg, there are countless others quietly swept under the rug by government agencies and major firms.
2 – People Are Getting Dumber
The ubiquitousness of digital devices is dumbing-down the population at large. From what I have gathered, smart devices are making people less smart. Just because your smartphone knows, does not mean you know.
Since people are not building memory muscles, smart devices are creating a dependency that is detrimental to humans in the long run. Kids born into the digital revolution age are just as dumb. Most cannot write a complete sentence without using emojis.
3 – Poor Relationship Skills
Connecting with people online is far different from meeting them in real life. People are now enamored with social platform friends, rather than creating and nurturing true friends in real life. Boasting about all the likes and friends you have on Facebook will not help you develop true relationship skills. No wonder the divorce rate in America is now over 50%, and it is trending upwards as we speak.
4 – Privacy Be Gone
In this digital revolution, you can throw privacy concerns out the window, because it does not exist. Information provided online either voluntarily or not, will be shared among interested parties including govt agencies. In this digital revolution age, those seeking ironclad privacy should stay away from using smart devices.
5 – Your Job is Not Safe
Contrary to what some might think, the next phase of job losses will involve professions that require college degrees. If you’re an accountant I suggest you seek other training because artificial intelligence will soon be able to do your job better and faster. All professions that involve handling data is at risk in this digital revolution atmosphere.
6 – Copyright
Once the information created enters the digital realm, copyright issues become murky as hell. How do you go after someone in New-Delhi that stole your work? Most copyright lawyers are very selective as to what cases to pursue, due to jurisdiction limitations.
China is a prime example of a country that got its rise from outright theft of intellectual properties. Goodluck, going after anyone in China that stole your copyrighted material. Once any copyrighted information lands inside the digital landscape, the limitations on who can access it becomes nonexistent, regardless of encryption technology.
7 – Plagiarism is at an All-Time High
High school teachers and college professors spend a great deal of time determining if works submitted by students are plagiarized or not. It is getting harder or almost impossible to catch the offending party presenting plagiarized material as their own. Expect plagiarism issues to increase substantially, as the digital revolution becomes more and more insidious.
8 – People Are Now Addicted
Whether you realize it or not, smartphone addiction is real. Smartphones use the same neural-pathway as cocaine and other highly addictive substances. A simple way to know if you’re addicted to your smart device is to see how many hours in the day you spend away from it.
Most people are on it 24/7. It is not uncommon to see couples at a restaurant using cellphones while pretending to have a meaningful conversation. The addiction to smart devices in this digital revolution is real and getting worse.
This article on the digital revolution’s pros and cons will not be complete if I did not admit it will offend some people. Some will swear they’re not addicted to smart devices, while their actions prove otherwise. Expect the smart devices that used to be external to the human body to soon be made to function inside the human body parts.
Within the next ten years, I expect to see smartphones that come in the form of an implanted chip. I am sure millions of Americans will line up to be the first to own this chip, which can be implanted in different parts of the body.
Some will be happy to carry the device permanently inside, rather than remembering to bring it along. Another phase in this digital revolution is the advancement in projection technology. It will soon be possible to project the image of the person you’re talking to into your physical space.
This technology is presently being used in concerts to bring on stage dead artists performing live. Very soon, one will be able to project the image of the person on the other line right into the physical space.
Another aspect of this digital revolution is cloaking capabilities. I doubt if the military-industrial complex will ever let the citizens get their hands on the cloaking capabilities this revolution will enable.
You already saw the cloaked car in James Bond Movies, which leads me to believe it is real and presently been held, hostage. I am also certain that clothing for cloaking physical presence exists, and will probably be kept out of the public domain, because of the possibilities and implications.
Like everything else, the digital transformation pros and cons will depend on individual perspectives. Some will see it as the best thing to ever happen to humanity, while others will see the pitfalls it will enable. The digital revolution pros and cons debate is alive and ongoing, so buckle your seat belt and enjoy the ride!
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