Computers in an Information Society
The developments in information technology have revolutionized the ways in which information is transmitted and the impact this information has on people globally. Such impacts are not only experienced in the social sphere, but economic and political spheres as well. The internet has created a platform through which information is transmitted instantaneously via the use of channels such as e-mail lists, social media and forums. As a result, people from all over the world have been brought together to share ideas, experiences and cultures despite of the difference in their geographic locations. In particular, the internet has had, and continues to have profound implications on the global political interactions.
The internet has for example greatly impacted on how political campaigns are carried out. Politicians have ventured into the use of blogs, e-mails and other forums to carry out research in a cheap, fast and efficient way on the priorities of the masses. Based on this information, the politicians then strategize and implement a political platform. Also, through the above channels, the political parties raise funds for their campaigns by communicating with both contributors and potential contributors. The internet has proven to be a cheaper and more efficient campaign tool as compared to the old methods and is used to mobilize crowds to attend rallies, to get supporters and voters. President Obama’s 2008 presidential victory can be credited to the wide use of the internet as a campaign tool. The use of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook played a key role in gathering support and mobilizing voters towards his victory. Therefore, the use of internet has a direct impact on the democratic process in that it can influence the participation in political processes such as voting.
Internet use has also resulted in a better informed voting population. Through the social networks, discussion forums, e-mails, blogs, instant messages and so on, people get information with regards to the government, policies and other information that will enable them make the best decisions before casting their votes.Internet evolution towards new communication channels has granted governments with the chance to operate in not only innovative and engaging ways, but also in cost-effective methods.
The use of internet has also led to the emergence of more empowered citizens. It has provided cheap and widely available tools through which citizens can voice their opinions and concerns. As a result, the governments have become more responsive and accountable. In Boston for example, a number of initiatives have been undertaken to engage its citizens in the day-to-day running of the state. The citizens connect application is one such initiative that is geared towards inputting the citizens in the beautification process of the city.
Another great role that the internet has played politically is activism. Through activism in the cyber space, change in various parts of the world has been achieved. In Egypt and Tunisia for example, the use of internet played a crucial role in mobilizing a global outcry that led to historic revolutions that saw the oppressive regimes in the two states deposed. In fact, the Egyptian revolution is also referred to as the Facebook Revolution due to the mass mobilization it managed to get as a result of using the social media channel.
In conclusion, the internet’s influence in the global arena is undoubtedly being felt not only in terms of economy and social aspects, but politically as well.