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The digital information age has been slowly but progressively coming to fruition over the past few decades. It has begun altering the fundamental aspects of how contemporary society functions and its effect is now more prevalent than ever. A new age in telecommunications has emerged. A revolution similar to that of the rise of the industrial age is currently taking place. People are now able to access an increasingly vast collection of information and communication resources by connecting to immense, interconnected, ever-expanding network connected to incomprehensibly large information databases. These databases and their direct involvement with the internet along with new advancements in automated technology and artificial intelligence have become an integral part of modern society.
The internet allows people to interact in a social and political manner that has never before existed. It has created a new type of digital interaction and it has fundamentally altered the way society functions as a whole. The internet grants people access to a seemingly limitless wealth of inherently unfiltered information and automation has begun allowing corporations to streamline their workforces and increase profit margins. Information is becoming easier and easier to access due to advancements in cellular device availability and technology and the newfound digital hyperconnectivity combined with modern day movements towards automation make it clear that society undergoing a major fundamental revolution similar to the likes of the industrial revolution. In recent years there has been several major events in society that have been vastly swayed by the internet and its ability to foster what is known as “viral” content. Viral content has been made possible by social media platforms on the internet which provide people with the option of sharing content with peers. The Donald Trump election campaign capitalized on this, whether it was intentionally or not and this was made clear during the 2016 presidential election.
Many people assumed Donald Trump had no legitimate chance of becoming president of the United States when he first announced he’d be joining the electoral race. Although in hindsight his announcement should not have been taken so lightly as Donald Trump and his political ambitions quickly became an internet sensation, sparking an incredible number of conversations, memes, and debates. Before the 2016 election it may have seemed incomprehensible to consider memes, internet hype, and simply the amount of content someone has on the internet as something that could have such a massive effect on the outcome of a presidential election. The persuasiveness of internet content has slowly become evident however, as Donald Trump memes created a huge amount of internet hype which then eventually helped lead Donald Trump to electoral victory. It appears now that anything viral on the internet has the ability to sway an individual’s opinions and thusly society’s thoughts and opinions. The saying “no press is bad press” has existed for a long time and the concept expressed by this saying has been clearly proven by Donald Trumps political success and its correlation to massive amounts of internet media coverage. Not only were there an incomprehensible amount of Donald trump memes created, but Donald Trump simply had much more content on the internet at the time of the election than his opposition. For example, an article in Forbes showed that “Donald Trump” had nearly twice as many google search results as “Hillary Clinton” at 228 million compared to 145 million.
At the time this article was written Donald Trump also had over two million more twitter followers than Hillary Clinton and nearly double the number of Facebook page likes as Hillary. Put simply, Donald Trump was reaching much more people and he therefore had much more political influence. This helped him amass a huge political following. This begs the question though. Without the Internet as a political tool, would Donald trumps influence have been as great? Although It is clear to most that the internet has a massive influence on todays society. While the internet was coming to fruition there were several other technological innovations being created and perfected that have had and continue to have major implications on society. One of these technological innovations is automation. Automation is becoming an increasingly popular and legitimate way to raise profit margins and production efficiency whilst diminishing labor costs. While this may seem like a good thing, especially in the eyes of shareholders and corporations alike. Automation has some negative implications, especially for the workforce. While some fear automation for irrational reasons such as worrying about “the singularity” or a situation similar to Skynet in Terminator. The matter of fact is that automation poses a threat to a plethora of jobs, putting them at risk by replacing human workers with robots and complex machinery. A study conducted by the Mckinsley Global Institute says that by the year 2030 nearly 800 million jobs could be lost to automation.
The study then goes on to say despite the fact technology will diminish the number of certain job, it is also likely to create new jobs and opportunities much in the same way it has in the past during the industrial revolution for example. This of course is not guaranteed but it has been proven to be true several times in the past. The implications of automation go further than simply raising profit margins and streamlining production though. If executed properly automation can help create a utopian future where the production of goods and food can be completed without the need for human workers or interaction. This means that humans could hypothetically dedicate their time to other activities such as perusing a passion whilst still having anything and everything they need produced for them by an automated system. Its hard to say how far off we are from a utopian world such as this. But in a society poised to expect the worst it is important to keep the positive aspects of automation in mind. All in all, technology has and continues to progress at an exponential rate. No one seems to know exactly what the future holds. But what we do know is that technology has already begun altering how society functions at its core in a massive way. It has allowed humans to interact more efficiently and easily through social media platforms and it has changed the way the production of goods is performed. Whether we are headed for a dystopian or utopian future is still up for debate but it is hard to deny that society is currently undergoing a fundamental revolution similar in proportion to what happened during the industrial revolution
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