Let’s interrogate the digital mindset today.
The future continues to be defined and challenging in many complex forms and models. However, available indicators for global development dictates that the colour and assurances of the future resides in Intelligence.
Therefore, how will Nigeria and Africa engage the intelligent and technology intensive future? Will the possession of technology devices help reduce and/or erase the digital divide mindset?
This conversation sets to adequately interrogate if the current contradictions presented by the advent of digital transformation were consciously subjected to future-proof analytics or spontaneously erupted? Perhaps better titled the topic can be reframed as: Revisiting the digital divide and lessons learned from failed engagements. In other words, have we fully understood and finally accepted the impact of missteps of digital divide? What are the effects of that terminology on humanity and world development? Better said, recent recollections inform that we have further journeyed from digital divide to COVID-19 pandemic divide and still matching on the path of negative human health care delivery experience and energy-divide.
Fast forward, is digital divide an illusion of the mind, orchestrated business marketing strategy; a deliberate backdoor to penury or a compounded confusion to fast-track and divide preferred market economy? It is instructive to register that there are two complex mindset architecture within the digital construct. The originators mindset and consumers innocent mindset colliding along the digital highway. These concerns command us to recognise that now is the time to deeply interrogate the global digital mindset – as a digital haemorrhage.
The effects have beclouded and partly suffocated history, truth, and peace to near submission. Therefore, constructive actions are now required as we stampede to escape its inferno. The pursuit aims to test our ability to tame the divides and resilience to recover from our collective ignorance that has deeply segregated human thoughts. Dismantled our traditions, belief, and negates the assurances to reimagine human empathy; happiness, care, love and hope for a sustainable and enduring future.
For want of the right words to express the digital dilemma, at its inception; governments were blindly lost in recognising the magnitude of the power of the Information Technology wave. This is because the surge of the tech-wave – though not entirely spontaneous – was dramatically innovative and controlled by people; individuals, technology start-ups and investors outside government domain. Remember the Dot-com boom and burst. This is not entirely new since science continues to dictate the pace of civilization; even against the construct of natural laws!
Its dynamism was unstoppable. It was a movement whose time has come! The digital divide has accelerated beyond government control and created multi-layered mindset divides – in unimaginable degree. Similar to the A-Bomb scenario, digital regulation remains a complex equation. It currently finds itself in muddy waters. Technology monopoly has given birth to digital inferno – as technology acquisition-divide mindset. The dimension of people-process and technology-divide has perhaps accelerated global conflicts rather than curtailing it. How far can we see into the powerful technology future with Climate change?
Climate change is real.
It also replicates the momentum delivered by the advent of Fossil fuel in 1759 as a novel scientific invention that birthed the first Steam Engine to change the world and catapulted it to the 1st. Industrial revolution.
Today, digital transformation has arrived, overtaken government and created a top layer on the tip of the iceberg!
It seems to hold all the cards on the metropolis of digital brinkmanship; making politicians outcasts in the decision-making processes now governed by Big Data. After decades in pursuit of the digital activity culture; it has become crystal clear that the real divide resides in the human mindset and enlarged the market and causalities alike. This assumption becomes a reality, evidenced by the fact that humanity is currently computerising and digitizing her old ways with processes that still hold us to a divided behavioural mindset. Consequently, it seems we ran technologically blindly too fast with stampeded digital professionalism and left the social-scientist factors of life (minds of people) behind.
Has this speed spurred us into enlarged conflicts; particularly in our attempt to deliver concrete generational change without sustainable traction?
Is that perhaps the real interpretation of digital divide? In other words, which should be the preferable roadmap: digitizing old processes or redesigning and reconditioning the sociological content of life behaviours from birth-to-death? Perhaps, the presumed digital divide was created by the supersonic timeline to conquer opportunities; compete, and deliver what a tiny fraction of humanity perceived in the name of knowledge and global competitiveness?
Indeed, has the technology devices divided our mindset instead of cementing them together?
Meanwhile, we call it business. But has Twitter, Instagram and Facebook really cemented global content of propaganda that divided us yesterday or further inflamed the universality of the divide mindset? Has digitization minimized and/or resolved the core conflicts of the old world infected by political tumours; racism, gender inequality, discrimination, oppression, wars, poverty, corruption, criminalization, murder, suicide, etc.; or intensified the conflict? It is unquestionable that a misunderstood new order is here.
As we forge on, the enormity of the challenges of digital divide has transformed into digital poverty around the world and continues to grow exponentially by the nanosecond! Can one, therefore, be justified to a great extent, state that digital divide sums up to digital poverty going by its current negative impact on the GDP of many developing countries? However, this does exclude the acknowledgement that some minute benefits have also been delivered; particularly to the rich in those countries.
The harsh reality facing the new world today is that though every other variable has its pros and cons. But the world was sold to the concept that information technology and digitalization process is the absolute panacea to human problems and cure to unseen challenges. It is only made of pros without cons! Indeed, one of the fatal fallouts is that it blindly left education, educators, sociologists, philosophers, and governments behind. This caused the digital divide mindset – better known as business opportunity.
Today, we seem to have picked up the afterthought of digitizing education.
But again, it falls flat to digitizing old knowledge content and abandoning the students to digitally figure out the million colours and shades of the emerging world as they plunge into the fussy future-of-work and economy. How do we reset the digital divide mindset and its fatal consequences to majority of human population; especially those dramatically blindfolded and denied access to digital infrastructure of knowledge Olympiad?
We should also be reminded by the recent human experience of the Covid-19 Pandemic where similar experience created nations of ‘vaccine have and have-nots’.
For the vaccine have-not nations (predominantly made-up of developing nations}; the tale was that of uncountable millions of people who died and missing in action; COVID-19 hunger, fear, confusion, misery, trauma and penury! Hence, the true story of the Pandemic experience is that humanity experienced Covid-19-Vacine-divide and disorganised know-how. Post-COVID-19 divide remains with us today as a mindset burden. Indeed, its threat has been elongated with food-pandemic (food divide), energy pandemic (energy-divide), and many more.
While there is hope for the human good, we need to take a moment of silence to reimagine technology. Yes, we can guide technology innovation and scientific inventions from the killer hurricane to infinite humility. This is possible.
Going by the computation of civilization-development, human mind and thought processes are infinite!