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Ever since cellular phones and computers were developed, sending and receiving information has never been easier. Imagine, with just a push of a mouse button or even just a touch on our phone’s screens, the messages we want to relay to a person miles and miles away from us can reach then in no less than 5 seconds and we get a reply in the same time period! But of course, in every great invention there’s an abuser. Since the dawn of accessible information, there also emerged individuals who purposefully alter the information posted just for kicks and laughs. Not only do they alter information and spread fake news, they go a step further and even hack into our e-mail accounts or our social media.
Digital information isn’t always trustworthy. It is actually quite easy to alter definitions or site entries. Take Wikipedia for example, it allows various people to edit an article either for good or bad. What’s pressing is the developers do not always know that the information embedded in their website is altered so much that it’s hard to tell if it is still legit or not, unless someone reports it to them. With the mention of altered information, the government has come up with a few new laws and a new subject, taken up in Senior High School called the Media and Information Literacy or MIL. This helps students find out whether or not the information they find is changed or legitimate. Of course it isn’t easy at first glance but this serves as a guiding principle so as to always look for supporting evidences before deeming information “legit”.
Truly, the digitalization of information has made research and assignments quite easier to accomplish nowadays. Back then, my father told me that if they wanted to finish a thesis’s Review of Related Literature, they would have to visit every public and academic library in the vicinity of Manila and even going to the National Library to find articles they can cite in their research. Now, with just a few clicks of the keyboard and the mouse, we can access numerous articles both local and foreign. It is still highly risky though since, mentioned earlier, everything is easily edited online and the hackers do not leave a trace behind. We guess the lesson to be taken from this is to fact-check the information given to us and see whether or not other sites say the same thing. It is easy to fool someone, but it is not easy to fool an educated one.
Yes, technology is great and powerful but if put in the hands of one incompetent and abusive user, it will become the worst possible weapon. With the sheer number of computers and cell phones today, who knows what will happen if the power to control technology falls into the wrong hands? Keep in mind also that whatever we post in our social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) is there forever. We may delete it from our profiles, but someone somewhere somehow have a screenshot of it and can only take one little miscalculated mistake to spread it across the world. Think before you click.
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