A day more and first decade of this century will be over. And what a decade it has been, marked with blistering pace of digital revolution which has left everything in sight singed. Such has been impact that decade is being called a digital decade. In span of 10 years we have seen massive changes thanks to advances in digital technology, explosion of internet and unleashing of waves of innovations. Come to think about it, how fast some of application and devices we use today and take for granted have sprung up e.g ; wikipedia: 2001, Myspace: 2003, Facebook: 2004,Youtube: 2005,Twitter: 2006,iPhone 2007,Kindle: 2007 and many more.
In span of 10 years, Google turned from a company to a verb, Facebook became a place to hang out, Youtube redefined blockbusters and Amazon survived dark ages of e-commerce to ride high on clouds. What started as a bug squashing exercise, turned into a dot com boom before crashing with a thud and reviving with everything 2.0 phenomenon. If we risked becoming verbose and blasé with blogger, twitter showed that 140 characters were more than enough to express anything. And this was much after a generation of kids had developed lingos not taught in any language academies, thanks to ubiquitous toy of decade called mobile phone. Oh well, the mobile itself, the question was not whether you had it but how smart it was. Wisdom of crowds, long tail, wikinomics, user generated content threatened some conventional business models and new paradigms emerged. Impact of social networking was not only felt in personal life but inside corporate walls as well, where some old ramparts could be seen crumbling. Low cost of communication and distribution ensured that the word which was with God was finally and truly appropriated by men.
In an old Indian philosophical thought, evolution, is seen as a progressive manifestation of nature ( to experience itself). Evolution doesn’t always result in what can be called a happy path scenario and in those circumstances self-correction is done. In similar vein, we can see human intelligence virtually exploding in many forms in this digital decade and moving towards some kind of distant Omega Point. The pace of this technology innovation has been so rapid that its impact on society’s fabric and different aspects like political, legal and social is yet to be known fully. May be we are going to discover that not all innovations and technology made our life easier or fruitful after all. Now we have less time to do more things. Growth has become a monster which has to be constantly fed. “What Next!” drives us and there is almost sense of paranoia if we can’t see that Next. To some , digital technology and specially the Internet has ushered in a cult of the amateur that is “taking us back into the Dark Ages”. Change always creates flux and that unsettles many. Regardless of different views, one thing is certain, that the mark has been made. Future generations will look back at this decade and perhaps wonder how it would have been to live through those years when epochal changes were taking place. Or possibly they are going to look back and wonder about a decade of digital stone age. Time will tell, as someone has said, future is not googlable.
Happy New year to everyone!