The Digital World: Where are we heading to?

Digital 2022: Global Overview – a report released early this year reveals that the world’s population stands at 7.91 billion in January 2022 and 67.10 percent of them use a mobile phone. Furthermore, there are 4.62 billion social media users around the world. The research data depicts a digital world is an inevitable phenomenon.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the study of computation, automation or the field of computer science is at the heart of a digitally dominated world. It has advanced significantly as we witness that the world is changing more and more towards the digital world.

The easy access of technology has given rise to the two new terms to categorize people in the digital world- digital natives and digital immigrants. Digital natives are the people born in the past decade or two (digital age). They’ve had access to the technologies ever since their birth. The generation of young people is referred to as the digital natives whereas our parents and grandparents are digital immigrants. Although not early, they’ve learnt how to use computers and other digital devices in some stage of their lives. As life moves towards digital, digital immigrants are forced to follow a ‘new world order’. The digital world continues to push people toward a digital world. From infants to old people, everyone uses some sort of digital technology, may it be a computer or a smartphone.

The digital world is evolving rapidly and so are the people of the digital age. Let’s refer to Meta Platforms, Inc.’s investor earnings report for 4Q 2021 (published February 2022), Facebook had 2.912 billion monthly active users and YouTube has over 2.6 billion monthly active users worldwide (According to Statista 2022). These huge numbers just show how many people have the internet as a part of their daily lives.

However these aren’t surprising at all considering how much the internet has helped people to evolve in this digital world. Evolving in a physical world is a process taking a really long time but with the digital world evolving on a regular basis; it has even stopped the whole world from going into a state of complete stalemate. Just a couple years back, when the pandemic hit, thanks to the internet, daily lives kept on going. If not for the internet, people would have lost a year or two of their lives. The past couple of years are a perfect example of our lives turning virtual.

Any blessing used in a wrong manner can turn out to be a curse and technology is no exception. The digital world comes with its own set of demerits. Cybercrimes like hacking, cyber bullying, identity theft, and privacy breach etc. are a major problem when it comes to the internet. Despite ongoing works going on to reduce cyber-crime, whether it be introduction of stronger security techniques or cyber jurisdiction, there will still be people who’ll take advantage of the loopholes for their own personal gains.

At the end of the day, it all depends on the people of the digital world on how to let the digital world be and make it a beautiful world where anything imaginable is possible. There’s nothing we humans have not explored, be it the outer space or the deep seas but there’s still so much left to explore of the world we ourselves created- the digital world. With so many beautiful features of computer science, some of them being virtual reality where we can submerge in a completely different dimension or robotics where the tasks inefficient for humans are easily performed by robots, these being just two of the many emerging fields, there’s infinitely many possibilities on which way the digital world is heading. If used properly, we might be creating a utopia or we might as well be heading towards a path of a dystopian world in the worst case scenario.