If you were born after the 90s, you are part of the generation born in a digital age. No one in their teens right now would believe you if you told them that letters used to reach addresses after months through conventional mail! This generation has grown up in conditions totally different from conventional times. These thoughts can often be incomprehensible to them. Do they have it better? Or were the older generations born in a better time?
The digital age has brought on advancements and conveniences, but with it comes a curse. Tech companies may not have anticipated many of the consequences when they first invented the smartphone. The numerous residential internet services like Cox bundles made access to the internet much more affordable. Today, we now live in a world where digital technology impacts everything we do and feel. The newer generation is restless and has grown increasingly used to instant gratification. Therefore, they feel entitled to a better life without, as boomers say, ever working hard for it.
Changes to Communication
With the advent of the smartphone, communication has changed completely. It is a common sight now to see a person on speaking loudly on their phone while completely disregarding their surroundings. People are almost always connected with each other but have lost intimacy and sensitivity in many ways. Conventional handwritten letters arrived after months, and the yearning often added a different flavour to the communication. But now, you can send a message and get a reply in seconds.
With changes in communication speed, people are becoming more and more restless. If they send you a message, they want an immediate answer. This dependence puts people under a lot of stress. And instant gratification has also given everyone FOMO. The first thing you do right after you wake up is check your phone. You can’t sleep without scrolling through the endless posts on social media platforms. It is a curse that people have forgotten how to take their time with things. They have forgotten that all good things come after a lot of patience.
Relationships in the Digital Age
The world has become too fast for our own good. And relationships are losing their meaning as a result of this fast-paced life. People connected through verbal communication before the digital age. These days, all you have to do is swipe right. Our parents and grandparents took their time knowing someone and developing a real connection with them. If you ask them how they knew they had found the one, they will say, “Oh, I looked them in the eyes, and I just knew.” Relationships are no longer built this way.
An old couple doesn’t have to wait for their son to return from offshore duty to learn about how he is.. Most young ones never get how it feels to miss someone in the conventional sense. Voice and video calls connect you with your loved ones, but you don’t feel close to them. There is a lot more talk but a lot less intimacy. Text messages can make or break relationships, and hearts struggle to express themselves through emojis and memes.
Business Ethics and Advertisements
Even business was different in Pre-Digital times. If you wanted something from the other end of the world, it took much longer than it does today. Now, you can order something from an E-Commerce website using the smartphone in the palm of your hand. We have closed gaps but at what cost?
The digital age also means every individual is followed with targeted ads. Marketing professionals bombard you with unwanted ads – constantly. You can never get away from the next un-skippable ad that will demand attention and then the next and so on.
Business ethics have also evolved entirely in the digital age. Ecommerce made things easier, but it also introduced a lot of uncertainties. You often don’t really know who you are buying something from or whether the product is as advertised. The digital age is full of fraud, false and misleading marketing, and a lot of peer pressure.
Unwanted and Unnecessary Information
How many times have you had to see too much information posted online? Information you never asked for and did not even want to know keeps popping up on your phone. There is so much misinformation online that it is impossible to fact-check everything you see. No one asked you to update the world about the wax in your ears, your frequent sexual flings, or what you had for dinner last night. All that and more information clutters your mind.
The minute you unlock your phone, you receive a lot of notifications. You have emails, WhatsApp messages, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so much more. Marketing people are constantly contacting you for feedback on their products. All this can sometimes become too much to handle, and you can drown in this mess. You can take a break, but then what will you do about your FOMO? You and I are stuck in this black hole, and there is no escape sometimes.
The digital age is a blessing in some ways but a curse in many others. We cannot deny that every one of us would rather make things less complicated than they are right now. The simplicity of conventional living sounds attractive to many of us. But, sadly, there is no rewind button.