A fast moving and rapidly shrinking world. Connected by bits, bytes, wires, wireless connections.Instantaneous communication.Was this possible a few years back ?
It has not only been made possible ,it is entrenched in our lives and it is morphing at a rapid rate.The development of internet, wireless, smart phones and other technological wizardry have made the impossible, possible.
Earlier, it was the media which was controlling information dissemination. I still remember how dependent we were on the state print and audiovisual media for information. And we had to wait for a day to receive news. For the newspaper to arrive. For the evening news. And we had only certain versions of it. The arrival of Cable television in the 1990s changed things. Cable News network ‘ coverage of the gulf war, brought it into households across the world. The entrance of cable and satellite television significantly decreased the arrival of news and connected the distant parts of the world, more closer together. Viewers could see distant happenings on their TV screens. So many significant changes in the world was thus televised and spread to distant reaches. Cable TV became addictive ; an inseparable part of daily life.
While developments in audiovisual media were going on, technological developments in IT were proceeding with the development of internet. IE and Netscape. Microsoft domination of IT through Windows and IE. Apple’s development of its iconic brands. Windows. Arrival of Google as a big player on the scene. Google mail and now Chrome. So many small players all gobbled up by the dinosaurs in the business. The mushrooming of the web lead to alternative sources of news besides print and audiovisual media. Online news and communication became the big thingy. Now, one need no longer depend on the conventional media.
And in the midst of all this, communication technologies are taking on a more personal shape. Development of Social Media Technologies, as we call it, is drastically changing the way we communicate. We socialise. We network. Do business. Even build relationships. On Social Media.
Over the next few posts, I would be expressing my thoughts on the importance of Social Media and how are they influencing the way we communicate and even our lives…..
I am starting my news and current affairs blog with the sensational news of Osama Bin Laden being killed in an early morning/nighttime surprise raid. Social media have been buzzing on the overdrive since the time the news leaked out. Lots and lots of questions and no answers.Speculations. Controversies. Issues. Unbelievable and difficult to believe that one of the major instigators of terrorist acts is no more.
Amongst the major surprises was the discovery of the fact that OBL was hiding out in a mansion near the military training academy, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. Though there were rumors always that he was hiding out somewhere in the Af-Pak boundary, this event confirms it in a rather shocking manner. The question rises then how was he hidden from public view so successfully? And how could the administration be unaware of his residence?
The meticulousness of the attack indicates it was well and extensively planned and surprisingly kept under wraps.Till it occured, there was not an inkling in the air that OBL was in residence in the area, Abbottabad. President Obama in his speech clearly states that the operation was entirely and completely an US organised operation and does not involve the Pak govt in anyway. Reports by various agencies indicate the role of a specialised american team in this task.
DNA analysis has confirmed that the body was that of OBL. Further there are conflicting reports on whether the body has been buried or not. Which raises the question of why the body has not been displayed for the media?
The most important question, in my view, is how it would impact the current terrorist movements across globe. It is possible that there may be a vicious return attack or resurgence in terrorist activities, directed against the US and its allies. It may also have a negative effect on the morale of terrorists and their supporters. In either case, it is too early to assume that terrorism will die out. This is just one OBL. What about the many undiscovered OBLs out there ? For the U.S., this is of significance because it comes as justice for the September 2001 attacks and wll bring in a sense of closure for the people who are still suffering the aftermath. The tone of the statement of Pres Obama indicates it as an entirely US centric exercise- for the US people but how does the rest of the world benefits from this or would they benefit in any way? Is it fruitful or useful for the rest of the world to celebrate this ? A question somebody highlighted in twitter is the impunity with which the US conducted this exercise. Does it not ring alarm bells for people who look to the US for support and aid? Events in the middle east also raises questions about western interventions for a cause,outside of them, being really helpful in the long term
Important questions for countries which are victims of terrorism as to how to deal with terrorists and supporters of terrorists. There are no easy ways to deal with them. If you are eager to listen to them, you are considered too soft and if you dont listen to them at all, you are considered as hardline. How do you achieve a balance? At the same time, it is very important to reassure the citizens that you are serious about defending your country and standing up to terrorists. Nothing should compromise the country’s security.
The coming few days will bring about a spate of theories, denials, corroborations, exaggerations etc. What is true may be a miniscule substance in the spate of information coming out and has to be taken with a measured sense of scepticism. And the aftereffects of this event has to be awaited out.