The rise and rapid expansion of the internet over the past two decades is nothing short of incredible. The digital revolution brings with it great opportunity yet causes some to fear rapid change of entering the free and openly connected online web.
Some of those fears are legitimate. How secure is the online world? What about proprietary information being leaked outside an organization? What about the privacy of personal data? The list of questions grows daily.
The newly released book by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, The New Digital Age, is a good prediction of what’s coming as the digital revolution continues to spread virally across the globe. Schmidt and Cohen outline the legitimate digital reality that is coming for everyone – governments, corporations, small businesses and every connected individual. The aim of the book isn’t to foster a state of fear of a connected globe.
Both authors acknowledge the risks involved of a globally connected world, but they emphasize the significant good that such a world provides. Oppressive regimes can’t hide, deceive, and repress a well-informed population for long. Deadly diseases can be isolated faster and cures found quicker by global collaboration of medical research experts. And even examples of fisherwomen who can use a mobile device to receive orders to bring fish to market while still on the water so that customers buy a fresher product and conversely limit the possibility of illness due to spoilage.
The driving force behind the new digital age will be mobile devices and Schmidt and Cohen predict the unbelievable adoption rate of mobile that is coming. By 2025, the majority of the world’s population will, in one generation, have gone from having virtually no access to unfiltered information to accessing all of the world’s information through a device that fits in the palm of the hand.
For some it seems ‘too fast.’ Others will remain stagnant and dream nostalgically of ‘the good ‘ole days’ (whatever that means). The wise and progressive next generation of civic leaders, educators, business professionals, and company employees will do well to not only embrace the new digital age but also help shape and lead it forward for the good of everyone.
I, for one, hope to in some small way be in the later group. How about you? Share you comments below.
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Red e App Product and Engagement Director