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Age of internetization

from Constantine Passaris and RWER current issue

Internetization is a new word and concept that I have coined to describe the electronic empowerment of the 21st century. COVID-19 has forced us to acknowledge the extent to which technological change has impacted our individual and collective lives at every level and in numerous dimensions. Internetization includes global linkages and extends them by simultaneously embracing electronic connectivity and the empowerment of the Internet.

Internetization has redefined the economic landscape and reformatted social connectivity. In effect, internetization has made time and geography irrelevant. Furthermore, the Internet has triggered an age of individual and collective empowerment that is unprecedented in the history of civilization. It provides individuals, institutions, civil society, businesses, and governments with a tremendous global connectivity, influence, and outreach (Passaris, 2019).

COVID-19 has underlined how dependent we have become on internetization in the 21st century. During the pandemic, internetization kept our world functioning albeit at a slower pace and with a different modus operandi. The pandemic forced individuals and civil society to retreat and retrench in their homes and personal spaces. As the world enforced self-isolation and lockdowns, internetization served as our direct connection outside of our secure bubble. In effect, internetization became our window on the world and redefined the parameters of our economic, social, and political interaction.

Furthermore, internetization served as a convenient medium for transporting our work and our office to our homes. It enabled schooling our children from home and we resorted to social media to connect with our friends and relatives. Internetization was our enabler for celebrating our birthdays, holding weddings, and conducting funerals online. We attended religious services online, shopped and sold products and services online, received our newsfeeds online and completed our banking online. We even readjusted our patterns of entertainment by attending the symphony online and watching our favourite sports on our computer screens.

In effect, self-isolation and the pandemic lockdowns have forced us to come to grips with our digital existence. Our national economies and civil society are now defined by their online capacity and empowerment.  Computers and electronic connectivity have become an essential and necessary enabler for our contemporary existence. All in all, it has been a revolutionary change to our lifestyle, daily routine, and our contemporary pattern of our human existence.

In short, the advent of the Age of Internetization is a mirror that we are living through one of the most momentous economic and social revolutions of all time. An economic and social revolution of unprecedented magnitude that is empowered by technological change. There is no denying that internetization has been a catalyst for transformational change with a profound and indelible impact.

The moral dilemma and asymmetric economic impact of COVID-19

  1. Ken Zimmerman
    April 15, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Speaking of the COVID 19 pandemic alone: dead, dying, and extremely sick people do not shop a lot, or operate their businesses, or check the GDP. They are just dead, dying, or extremely sick. Believe it or not the COVID 19 pandemic was the mildest of the scenarios examined by WHO and other health groups. In some of the other scenarios the infection and death rates were as high as 20 times those of COVID 19. So, in a sense we got lucky with this pandemic. No reason to believe in the current situation this luck will continue.

    Consequently, we are asking the wrong questions. It is not whether to prioritize the economy or science, but rather prioritizing the survival of humans and human societies. In my view that places more of the emphasis for commitment of resources and brain power (including electronic technology) on science. Science cannot provide people with money, but it can provide food, housing, clothing, public health, safety, etc. But science alone cannot meet the social cohesiveness, esteem, or fellowship humans need for survival. But the societies that science can save can meet these needs. The only economic model that comes close to working in this environment is socialism. And even that fit could be jeopardized by the many opportunists who will undoubtedly come out of the woodwork.

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