Friday, December 12, 2014

The Digital Nation

Every person on the planet who has access to the internet can become a global citizen today. Facebook has been able to achieve in a span of 10 years what politics and business could not achieve for hundreds of years. All you need is one user id and password and you become a citizen of this Digital Nation called Facebook which has 1.23 billion active citizens as of today. Only China (1.35 billion) and India (1.25 billion) have more citizens than Facebook. It has helped us overcome time and space and connect to people on the planet in real time. Just imagine the potential of what Facebook could achieve in the next 10 years compared to what it has been able to achieve in the past 10 years.

Now that I have shown you the dream, here is a reality check on Facebook. Below are 2 major roadblocks because of which many people don’t want to be part of this digital nation or even if they are part of this nation they are very passive and not active citizens.

  1. People share all kinds of crap on Facebook. So instead of becoming a place where people can improve the quality of their lives and communities by sharing good quality information and knowledge you see people following their own agendas and polluting the digital nation with garbage which turns many people off.
  2. Privacy is a very big concern, as there have been many cases where a lot of private information that people would not like to share becomes public knowledge because they have accepted all the default privacy settings that Facebook has.

Below are 2 points Facebook and its digital citizens need to keep in mind if they want to realize their full potential to be the best nation in the world.

  1. To quote Spiderman’s uncle Ben “With great power comes great responsibility”. Facebook needs to put in a lot of efforts to make sure it does not become an arrogant bully and big brother who does not care about its citizens.
  2. When all is said and done a nation is as good as its citizens. In fact every nation in the end reflects the quality of its citizens. That is why at least in a democratic system, you get the government you deserve.

I sincerely hope that Facebook can achieve its full potential, so that every person on the planet would want to be an active citizen of this digital nation.

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