I. ICT as Platform of Change
A society is defined by its generation, or it could be the other way around. It either changes you or you change the world. The world as we know it today is a far cry from the reality our ancestors have lived. We have computers on our side and we are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The 4IR marked humanity’s dependence on computers. Our roads are guided by traffic lights and we purchase our basic needs through e-commerce. Even our Work From Home (WFH) scheme is made possible with the internet and computers. Indeed, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has played a vital role in changing the world we live in. It hastens communication and made our lives more convenient. Aside from the personal benefits, our society is also affected by it.
II. The Role of ICT in Recent History
Have you heard the phrases “glued on TV” or “raised by TV”? Television once a quintessential entertainment device is becoming obsolete as more and more people are accustomed to using portable devices such as smartphones and laptops.
The Internet also made it possible to connect anyone in the globe like you are conversing with them face to face. Such is the world we live in now. However, it is not just recently that these events have affected our society. Social changes are imminent in every nation. Our country for instance has undergone several changes throughout the years. Some examples of these social changes are successful because of ICT.
- EDSA (People Power Revolution). The People Power Revolution lasted from 1983 to 1986. During a radio broadcast of Radyo Veritas, Cardinal Sin encouraged the Filipinos to help end the regime of then-President Ferdinand Marcos. A major protest took place along EDSA from February 22 to 25,1986 involving two million Filipinos from different sectors. These included civilians, political parties, the military, and religious groups. The radio broadcast helped change the course of history. Without it, Filipinos would not have been moved into action.
- EDSA Dos. This is also known as the 2001 EDSA revolution, which happened from January 17 to 21, 2001. It was fueled after 11 prosecutors of then-President Joseph Estrada walked out the impeachment trial. As a result , the crowd in EDSA grew over the course of a few days through text brigades. Like the first People Power Revolution, EDSA dos would not have been successful without the text brigades
- Million People March. This is a series of protests that mainly took place in Luneta park from August 22 to 26, 2013. There were also several demonstrations that happened around the key cities in the Philippines and some locations overseas. It was to condemn the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Though dubbed as the Million People March, the number of total attendees was only around 400,000. Despite that, it was still considered a success and clearly demonstrated how powerful social media campaigns are. The organizers on the promoters of the people click people erase million people march used Facebook and Change.org as their medium.
- Yolanda People Finder. Recent storms in Philippine history gave birth to the People finder database powered by Google. During Typhoon Yolanda, the people finder was a vital tool for people across the globe to track the situation of their relatives. This proved to be successful and is now adopted by more organizations to help people track relatives during calamities.
Change.org is dubbed as the “world’s platform for change” where anyone from the online community can create an application and ask others to sign it. During the past times, the petitions can only be done through signing a paper, usually done by a group asking for signatures via travel. Change.org gives access to more people by allowing the online community to affix their digital signatures on a petition.
Change.org’s mission is to help people from around the world create the change we want to see. For years, Change.org hosted civil petitions that help solve the following problems: common economic problems, criminal injustice, abuse of human rights, lack of education, environmental concerns, animal abuse, human health concerns, and world hunger .
IV. Key Takeaways
We need a solid moral compass in navigating the digital world as the information on it is overwhelming. There are social campaigns that are masked as entertainment. We need to practice our due diligence in consuming digital media.
- Klaus Schwab. Fourth Industrial Revolution. World Economic Forum Online. https://www.weforum.org/about/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-by-klaus-schwab/. Accessed on: December 2020
- Innovative Training Works, Inc. (2016). Empowerment Technologies. Rex Bookstore. P. 185 – 194
- What online petition platform allows the online community to create or sign petition? _______________________
- In what year did EDSA Dos take place? _____________________
- Who created the Yolanda People finder, that was used to locate individuals during and after the storm? ________________________
- In what date did the EDSA People Power Revolution protest take place? _________________________
- What radio station did Cardinal Sin use to call on the Filipino people to support the rally against President Marcos? _________________
- Recall stories of how you have used ICTs to be part of a social movement. How did ICT change the way we communicated? Compare and contrast how things would have been done had there been no ICTs?