Beyond the Information Age: What Next?
The world has experienced a series of Revolutions. The 21st century is highly characterised with information explosion like never before in human history. Today, with just a click on a mouse, interested individual can access scores of information on virtually any issue of concern in life. Gone are the days when few ‘elites’ reigns in knowledge and intellectual prowess over the majority. Nations that recognizes the importance of information-empowerment to her citizenry have left no stone unturned in entrenching it in their constitution as a fundamental/civic right of the governed. Decades ago, nations that appeared as world ‘giants’ are today facing stiff competition from emerging world powers owing to information technology.
It spread so fast as with a scourge on rampage, covering lands and territories, infecting inhabitants of high-tech nations in the West to village dwellers of developing communities in Africa with its ‘sting’ of relevance. In the years preceding the 21st century, when an issue of global or national interest occurs and those in the corridors of powers decides to conceal such from the knowledge of the people, they succeeded in some cases. There were high secrets in high places. Today, the converse is the case. With the advent of the internet, information dissemination and closing of knowledge gap has been made much easier. Such accounts for what makes the headliners in most local and international dailies as the corrupt hidden ‘mess’ of unscrupulous elements are brought to bear and appropriate penalty applied. Those professionally vested with the responsibility of acting as ‘bridgers’ between the government and the governed are alive to their responsilities with the adoption and implementation of the freedom of information law. What is more, the various component regions of the world are inter-dependent on one another in a global village. No doubt, access to information in an unprecedented scale is a gift to our generation.
From the foregoing, it is imperative that we consciously project into the future from our present position. As with the theme above, AFTER THE INFORMATION AGE, WHAT NEXT? This question keeps occurring and re-occurring in my mind incessantly. I have taken ample time to meditate carefully on this with no accurate projection of what lies next in sight. However, as with scientific hypothesis, inferences can be drawn from available ‘specimens’ as to what could likely succeed the present information age.
Prior to the emergence of the Information age was the Industrial age wherein the world was characterized with a high level of human investment in industrial development. Granted, it could have been a possibility that consequent on years of experience in the hands of industrialists, the average laborer/s could have ‘unwittingly’ engaged in idea diffusions aimed at proffering workable solutions to their ‘plights’. Hence, progressively, such efforts towards industrial ‘liberation’ could have given birth to the emergence of the ‘information age’. Though our world is driven by info-tech, industrialization still maintains an active role on the world scene. Beautifully though, people are adequately informed, well guided, more empowered, are open to choices, among other benefits of what makes the information age.
A careful and critical analysis of human behavior generally as a fall-out of the information age points towards an unfolding and systematic ‘age’ yet to be identified. In recent years, people across the globe have demonstrated by their unwavering action and activities that they are fully conscious of their environment and happenings and can lay their lives to seek for freedom in all its ramifications. This trend cuts across creed, race, sex, age, ideologies et al from my objective observation. Never in the history of man has there ever been a time when people could mobilize themselves to pursue a ‘freeedom-course’. Individuals too are often observed propagating a course for self-actualization and emancipation like never before.
As the world continues to experience the benefits of a global economy driven by Info-tech, consciously or ‘unconsciously’, a new age of ‘FREEDOM’ course may unfold systematically albeit the notice of many. This assumed age may tie along it reasons such as religion, politics, social and economic course as justifications in an unprecedented scale. Examples abound on the aforementioned. Meanwhile as earlier stressed, this may not be discerned substantially by many while it ‘rules’ as with its predecessors though in an invincible manner. Therefore, those in the chambers of power, policy makers, employers, parents should act proactively as to mitigating the negative effect of the highlighted subject. Efforts should be made in ensuring that people’s welfare and concerns are met to forestall any uprising from the unfolding ‘age’.