Well, today for those who do not know, like me until a few minutes ago is World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The theme for the day this year, apparently it has been here for a while, is ICT entrepreneurship for social impact.
Well, do not be fooled, I am no IT guru, I am just a fan of technology taking this day as a platform to thank those who came up with it because well, life is so much better with it and things we never really considered possible a few years ago now we cannot live without. I celebrate the way life has changed and how much easier things are today.
Basically the theme is about entrepreneurship and this is a big driver of the economy today. Think of the several online businesses that have started. Anyone can just create a Facebook account and post their wares there and deliver in their vicinity this helps people start businesses without necessarily having to rent space to start the business in and we all know how much good not having to have space can change our procrastination demons and make it easier on our pockets.
It is also so much easier to advertise than it was a decade ago. You link all your accounts to each other and there you have it. The friends or connections that are not on Facebook will get wind of you on twitter and so on. It is not too easy but it is better.
We are also able to communicate with people who we admire on various platforms and get help before taking the leap which may reduce the risks as opposed to just jumping without a mentor and all the `how to` pages on the internet.
It has also made the world a global village, with a PayPal account you can buy that T.V. or that pair of shoes, oh yes shoes, from another country which might not be available in your vicinity or just because you trust other countries to your own. It is just so much better than having to go to your shop only to find the shoe you wanted is not available in your size, don’t you just hate it when you get there and like, “this is so cute,” and since the sales person knows you they go like, “sweetie sorry we don’t have a 36 today.” Well on the internet you will only get the disappointment from the comfort of your home, no fare, walking just clicking. But [please do be careful because the internet is not devoid of its own pickpockets.
There is also the issue of M-pesa payments and all the ATM cards you can shop with in the supermarkets at no extra cost which reduces muggings, also you can send money to anyone anywhere nowadays, like on that day you look at your nails and they are just not feminine and you can’t even believe they are your and well, you left you ATM at home, these avenues come very handy.
In 1995 you would have to beat the closing time at the bank which was three if you were lucky and what the hell is an ATM card? Nobody knew it was such a strange thing that when Barclays came up with ATMs they had this awesome advert of a dancing ATM machine, it danced to some lingala song and it was awesome, someone should upload it somewhere, we have really, really come from far and we are also lazier, but isn’t too bad.
In the past few years the medical world has also improved greatly. A few years ago, getting malaria drugs was a problem but now there is a dose that everybody knows about that has helped save millions of lives. Nowadays, expectant women can go for regular scans to know how their babies are doing and problems can be dealt with even before birth that is a milestone. Women can also choose whether they want to go the natural way or the Caesarean Section way because now it is far safer and easier and lots of lives of both the child and mother are saved.
I don’t know why mothers just come to mind when I think medical but, it is now possible for women who otherwise would not be able to easily get pregnant to have children easily by IVF, Google that, the word is too long, it makes my head spin. This also helps men with low sperm motility.
Some surgeries can be done by laser now as opposed to the traditional cutting methods. This is where I give up on medical issues but you get the drift.
It has also made it so easy to keep in touch with our friends who moved to other towns or those we moved away from. We are still able to have conference calls, talk about the good old days, cry, laugh and remember all those who matter. It doesn’t replace face to face conversations but it does help, especially since the costs have come down drastically with all the service providers tripping over each other to try and seduce us.
And, some people have actually found real and lasting love on the internet brought about by technology. Some last some don’t but half a loaf is better than none right?
All that said, technology created social media that created a monster. People who in real life do not know how to express themselves have taken to social media, some for good, creating things that help others, entertaining others and all.
But there is the nightmare that is some characters who feed on killing people’s vibe, making people sad, seeing people fail and embarrassing people. These people have made people kill themselves and lose themselves because they have a lot of say or so some people think. I say don’t believe them. Stand your ground and follow the positive ones.
For those whose hearts have been broken, who have lost themselves, who have no idea what is happening to them anymore I am really sorry on behalf of the internet for losing bu again do not believe everyone. Trust yourself to be good before anybody else can tell you otherwise and when they do listen and tell them that that’s their opinion and you don’t believe it, unless you killed someone or stole from a beggar.
How could I forget how far the construction industry has come? It is easier to build houses nowadays, not on the pocket but logistically. In Japan they even have building that can survive earthquakes because they can bend, can you believe that, they call them swaying buildings. Here in our own country, it is now possible to build houses without the tonnes of sand and cement using the Koto building technology; it is cheaper and takes fewer years thanks to technology even this industry is evolving.
I remember a time where all household that had a TV set had them locked in a wall unit and really there was little you could do even when it wasn’t locked. The TV was a revered item, it was almost sacred and by God, you could only be caught dead arguing with your parents about what to watch because one, there was on TV station and it came on at 4 pm, I know some kids are wondering 4 kini? Yes, 4 pm. The rest of the day there was coloured lines on the TV and a buzzing sound the whole freaking day.
This story I will tell another day exclusively. For now, all I am saying is the entertainment industry has grown. There is TV all day and millions of channels and now with the digital migration, these are accessible all over the world. You can be in America and you can watch prime news in Kenya live and too many other scenarios.
It’s also easier to be a celebrity and entertainer while keeping your day job because you can do it online. I weep for theatre though there isn’t a better form of art and I pray for it daily.
In a nutshell
It is indeed a good time to be alive, who knew there would be a time in this country when you could order anything from clothes to electronics to food and have it delivered to your doorstep and all you needed to do was click a button. We have joys we can watch funny videos from people we would otherwise never knew existed and we laugh we are able to help each other by contributing to charities we would otherwise not have known about.
I sound biased, I know but I do believe technology is a tool and we can either choose to use it for good or for bad. But good is so much easier.
Cheers to all the people working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure our lives are easier and better, our banks, the entrepreneurs, the IT experts, the geniuses coming up with new technological inventions everyday that better our lives. Cheers to everyone I haven’t mentioned, keep up the good work and have a fabulous World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
Cheers to the 21st Century!