The communication resources have improved and flow of information is so instantaneous that almost everybody around the globe has the similar access to the information. The emerging sources of information flow have made it possible for the common person to have access to the information in the real time. Social Media, among other platforms, is the main contributor to this flagrant flow of information exchange. The point to ponder is whether this real time information sharing is utilized and handled responsibly by all the stakeholders or the personal whims have taken over the potential benefits.
This ease in the flow of information has changed global business dynamics, politics, social life and even war tactics effecting the world at large. This evolution to facilitate the flow of information started with the invention of printing press in the year 1450 and evolved through press, radio, television, internet, smartphones and the journey continues. Emergence of social media has further intensified the impact by providing platform for the people to use or abuse this facility. This effortless flow of information has aided the propaganda of all kind, may it be political, social or business.
Rapid access to information has also changed the business dynamics and the media management techniques. Social media has become a major source of the product promotion. Business advertising is moving beyond print and TV. The digital marketing is growing globally and has outdone print and TV advertisement. This has led to the emergence of the new business models. This availability of swift interactive communication platforms have not only provided an opportunity to reach more of your target audience but have also necessitated development of effective counter offensive and preemptive media strategies to counter the potential media onslaught of the competitors and business rivals. This agility of the information is a double-edged sword for all spheres of the life. On one hand, it provides an opportunity to convey your information, whatever it is, and on the other hand, the rivals can use it to defame you and your product. This is because of this availability of the instant information sharing platforms that the plastic money and bitcoins are the future modes of exchange.
Online shopping has changed the retail business dynamics and provided a great flexibility to the customers by enabling them to save their time and hassle by buying online through shopping portals. This has provided additional business avenues and necessitated for the retailers and wholesalers to move beyond mortar and brick business.
Our social life is also effected by this modern phenomenon of information access and flow. Internet search engines have facilitated access to all kinds of information provided users have the ability and training to sieve out the right from the wrong and fake from the real. These information-sharing resources especially the social media platforms are not only information hub but mainly influence people opinion as well. People now feel comfortable to use new ways of interacting with the people.
WhatsApp has not only taken over traditional telephonic conversation but WhatsApp is substituting even the use of modern cell phone voice and short message service. Online shopping is also getting mass attention helping peopleto save time for other activities like going to gym, jogging/walk in the park etc. For the employers and the job seekers the facility of searching and applying online has saved a lot of hassle of advertising in the newspapers, printing applications, attaching photocopies etc. also saving the resources like wastage of stationary. In this busy world, the availability of information and the use of information sharing platforms have helped the people to save time to spend it on activities that are more valuable for them.
The fifth generation war also concentrates on the use of these information sharing platforms and resources as a propaganda tool. Infact the evolution of the war strategy into fifth generation is obligated to the utilization of these modern information-sharing resources as a war strategy. We can see the use of social media as tool by the top Intelligence agencies of the world to manipulate the information to suit their own motives.
Joseph Goebbels, a propaganda guru and close aid of Adolf Hitler, has used available information resources to spread biased information to incite German nationalism to strengthen Hitler’s regime. His famous quote “speak a lie repeatedly and people will start believing it” is the guiding principle for those who use social media as a mean of propaganda to manipulate facts. This information stream has even changed the war tactics.
Manipulation of the facts and events has become a vital part of the war strategies. Fifth generation war is all about media, information warfare, electronic warfare etc. Modern war is not limited to the weapons of mass destruction but management of information through media and other communication resources are employed as means of capturing minds and brain of the target public or society.
No one can deny the importance of the latest technology that has allowed freedom of interaction and flow of information across the globe. This has significantly effected all the areas of life including social, environmental, business, technological, legal, political, so on and so forth. Access to information is the right of every person. However, the challenge for the people using and relying on the information so retrieved is to be able to sieve the facts from the fiction. They should safeguard themselves from falling victim to a campaign having negative agenda or ulterior motive. Being able to make such distinction, identifying and picking the right information, is not only the duty of the people using such information platforms but government is also duty-bound to make such laws that save people from the adverse effects of the maneuvers of such miscreants.
Information agility has both advantages and disadvantages but the benefits are much more vital to outweigh the shortcomings. Keep using this modern information technology tools but never try to misuse and defraud others and at the same time be cautious enough and avoid being a victim yourself.