It is often spoken of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) to refer to the set of knowledge, practices and tools related to the transmission and consumption of information, developed from the last decades of vertiginous technological change, since in 1969 the Internet entered our lives.
However, the concept of ICT is fuzzy to say the least, since it is used in a sense similar to that of “the information society”, to refer to a change in the informational consumption paradigm, affecting areas as dissimilar as leisure, formal education, interpersonal relationships or corporate finance. For example: videogames, electronic commerce, digital newscasts.
The emergence of these new technologies has thus developed new forms of product marketing, as well as possible new products and services. Also alternative forms of information flow that do not always go through formal and controlled channels, such as piracy, or peer-to-peer (p2p) services. All this at great speeds and overcoming physical and geographical borders through a process of globalization known as globalization.
Advantages and disadvantages of ICT
The virtues These types of technologies are easy to detail: speed, agility and massification of information flows, to the extent that users from different parts of the world can connect with each other from their computers and other specialized devices to converse, confer, send each other documents or file sharing.
Thus, the information that was previously contained in books, specialized services and traditional research sources, today it is dispersed in the network and circulates much more freely and democratically, although also in a much less systematic way.
Finally, these new ways of communication They have opened specialized fields of work and new areas of unsuspected human performance, such as business Community Managers or the various forms of remote work. In interpersonal relationships they have also left their mark, allowing new forms of virtual exchange and interpersonal relationships that do not perceive distance as something insurmountable.
However, all this has also brought consequences not necessarily positive, such as the dispersion of information, accessible outside of strict cataloging and legitimation systems of knowledge, which allows premature, undue or naive access to content, for which a certain margin of preparation would often be necessary . For example, many people search for medicinal answers on the Internet and undertake alternative treatments without bothering to go to a specialist doctor, exposing themselves to any type of risks and misinformation.
On the other hand, the degrees of exposure and permanent connection that these new technologies have imposed on our lives cause many psychological consequences in the population: technological addictions, social isolation, cultural autism, and even risks of exposure of sensitive information before the gaze of the strangers.
The great problems of the computerized era have to do with these matters and with the protection of information, as well as with the necessary limits in the hyperstimulation generations to come, accustomed from childhood to interacting with gadgets technological and communication.
There are many instances that advocate a model of regulation and even censorship of this type of technology, which can also be used for a school investigation or to obtain pornography. Some actors suggest that the answer lies in the way we educate ourselves for its use.
- Video game. Although it may not seem like it, the leisure and entertainment industry is one of the central pillars of technological and communication development. The growth of gaming platforms, from rudimentary wired TV consoles to entertainment software, is pushing the industry toward exploring new forms of connectivity, community building, and artificial intelligence.
- Instant messaging services. Another of the most sought-after and most popular aspects of ICT has to do with instant communication, whether through text messaging on the cell phone or more complex services over the Internet. One of the great values that these new technologies seem to obey is that of keeping human beings in constant and rapid contact with others.
- E-commerce. A branch in constant growth since the appearance of the Internet has to do with the so-called e-commerce, both wholesale and retail, which has allowed a greater proximity between buyers and sellers through specialized forums, virtual stores and business communities. Today it is a sector that generates large dividends worldwide.
- E-Government. An upward trend is the incorporation of the Internet and communications to the state bureaucracy, thus providing new speeds and comforts in these procedures. On the other hand, good ICT management allows any government or state entity to offer a greater range of transparency and social control to voters.
- On line bank. Computerized banking services and virtual financial services platforms became so popular in such a short time that banks are rare today without them. Why waste time going to the bank branch when we can enter a web page or, better yet, an application on our Smartphone and carry out our operations?
- Information search. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing are perhaps one of the tools in greatest demand in the digital world, since they act as mediators between the user and the universe of available information. The popularity margin or the contracted services will also depend on the place that a web page occupies with respect to the others in a search for a specific user.
- Peer-to-peer services. This model of information and packet data transfer communities and services became very fashionable after the success (and scandal) of “Napster” in the 1990s. Usually at odds with the classic approach to copyright, these services of “sharing”, That is, of sharing data from one user to another, are an example of the freedoms that the information society entails.
- Email. Postal mail was quickly displaced by electronic mail, which requires no paper or stamps but rather an account (usually free) on an email server. This allows us to send and receive information of various kinds and is the most basic mode of communication on the Internet.
- Digital newscasts. The paper newspaper increasingly migrates towards digital, offering its readers the option of staying informed through visits to a web page, application downloads on a Smartphone or similarly fast, comfortable and versatile processes, unthinkable 100 years ago when the newspaper it was at its global peak.
- Subscription television. Television, although at a clear disadvantage with Internet media services such as YouTube, remains solid as one of the key informational and media consumer services in the era of new communication technologies. However, its lack of interactivity, a key concept in this age, seems to be its limp.