THE INFORMATION AGE
The information age (digital age) is a period in human history characterized by the change from traditional era to the industrial era brought through industrialization to an economic based on information computerization. In Uganda the first computer arrived in 1967 and it was a mainframe. People now days use digital devices in their day to day lives such as computers, laptops and, many others. This has led to the development of the information age. Digital devices such as computers and are used at work places, schools, and internet cafés and many other places for various reasons such as research, communication, entertainment.
The need and the and demand of digital devices has also led to the development or growth of the information age whereas there is a high demand that leads to increased supply of the digital or computerized devices. The demand is due to the high dependency of computerized devices in our day to day lives.
I took this image of a place near my home area promoting the development of the information age . It is of an internet café located in Bunga, kampala (my home town). Internet cafés provide a variety of services for a certain fee, for example at Bunga internet café the following services are provided;
• Bunga internet café provides access to the internet whereas customers are allowed to browse the internet using Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) incase he or she has his own device , computers with access to the internet are also available.
• Computers equipped with Microsoft word (for word documents ) where as people can type formal and informal letters, eassys, cirriculum vitaes and other documents.
• Provides photocopying services whereas people can go there and photocopy there documents so as to have extra copies.
• It offers scanning services since it has a scanner thus turning documents or photos from hardcopy to soft copy etc.
NB:Internet cafés provide the public with cheap and affordable prices for access to computerized devices such as computers , laptops etc. They also provide cheap and affordable internet services
Internet cafés have a variety of purposes and thus have a role in the growth of the information age.
The image above shows people using the services at Bunga Internet café such as internet services use, of word documents ,scanning and many other services.
The images above are of students in my class using computers for research and other study purposes in our ICT lab at my school (British school of kampala)
The internet is a major key player in the development of the information age whereas its has led to the growth of the information age in a way that most of the jobs and services have been simplified or require the use of the internet thus leading people to digitalize their way of living /since information age is the same as digital age. All this thus contributed to the development and spread of the information age leading it to going worldwide.
The internet is a collection of networks. The internet can be further explained as an interconnection of computer networks that use internet protocols such as Transmission control protocol(TCP/IP) to link with worldwide devices. The internet is also categorized as the largest Wireless Area Network (WAN). “The first workable prototype of the internet came in the late 1960s with creation of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network.)” said Evan Andrews. Evan Andrews continues to say that ARPANET used packet switching to allow multiple computers to communicate on a single network.
Thus, through various contributions from different scientists the internet came to be thus the invention known as the internet cannot be credited to a single person.
The internet uses Internet protocol address (IP addresses) which is used in identifying different networks or websites. IP addresses are divided into IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. IPv4 addresses are grouped into 3 classes;
• Class A (1-126)
• Class B (128-191)
• Class C (192-223), an example of an IPv4 address is 192.168.4.0. IPv4 are calculated in binary format.
IPv6 are alphanumeric thus aren’t grouped an example of an ipv6 address is 2001:DB8: ACAD:3::1. IPV6 addresses are calculated in a hexadecimal format. IP addresses are assigned to network devices such as routers by Internet services providers (ISP) for example Vodafone, MTN, AIRTEL and many others, whereas the ISP acquires the IP addresses from organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Networking devices such as mobile phones acquire internet inform of data measured in megabits (mbs). The devices thus access internet through search engines and web browsers.
The internet has a variety of uses in our day to day lives as follows;
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THE INTERNET
The internet is both useful and harmful at the same time thus has a variety of advantages and disadvantages. These bring both positive and negative effects in our societies.
The internet has a variety of advantages as stated below;
The internet has eased communication whereas people can send and receive messages instantly thus saving time during communication. There is a variety of communication methods such as video conferencing, instant messaging, emailing and many others. T
The image is a screenhot of my facebook chats.Facebook is a popular communication medium in Uganda and allover the world.
The internet has a vast source of entertainment activities and services such as watching videos, online gaming, listening to music and watching movies using websites such as Netflix, iTunes.
• Information source
The internet is a vast source of knowledge and information where as it equips people with different kinds of information through watching informative videos or read useful information for example how to write an e-book or essay writing.
Information of all categories can be got from many information websites for example the above image is from Wikipedia an information website
The internet is used for research by a wide range of people such as students, teachers, doctors and many more and this is favored due to its vast amount of information on all topics. This has thus led to simplified research whereas people no longer have to search through textbooks and notes since the internet has it all.
The internet has led to a safe way to carry out financial transactions whereas people can carry out transactions and keep track of the bank out activities from anywhere and don’t need to physically do it. This has led to safe transactions since money doesn’t need to be physically moved around.
• Job opportunities
The internet has provided job opportunities whereas job opportunities from organizations, companies etc. are advertised thus making finding a job much easier than moving around with your certificates/qualifications.
• Source of income
The internet can be used to generate income for example, internet cafés provide internet services for a certain amount of fee for a specific amount of time.
The internet has provided easy access to pornographic videos, images and audios whereas anybody with access to the internet can easily access pornography by simply typing in the pornographic websites and he/she can such for those sites on the internet.
• Damaging of data
The internet has been used to destroy peoples work through the use of viruses whereas people send attachments containing viruses for example as Ads or via email and these viruses destroy people sensitive or important information/ work.
• Health issues
These are caused due to over use of internet for example over playing of online video games and watching movies and videos without exercising can cause health issues such as back pain, eye strain and obesity.
• Over dependency
This occurs when an individual can do nothing with out the internet such as researching whereas a person can’t refer to books and is at a standstill if internet is down.
This is the using of more than one medium of communication. There are 5 categories of multimedia which are;
Multimedia can be recorded and played, displayed, interacted with. Multimedia can be acquired through the use of electronic devices.
Multimedia can be live or recorded. Multimedia can be applied in the following fields;
• Journalism etc.
These fields provide / are employment opportunities since they require people to function them for example journalism require a large task force to be accomplished.
Multimedia is also used in the presentation of data for example like at board meeting people use multimedia to illustrate points. Even in class multimedia is used to help deepen someone’s understanding towards a certain point.
Broadband is a high-capacity transmission technique using a wide range of frequencies, which enables a large number of messages to be communicated simultaneously.
Broadband is any type of high speed internet access in reference to internet access. It is determined by bandwidth.
It moves through a variety media such as coaxial cables, optic fibers, twisted pairs or radios.
Broad band is initially faster than dial up line connections.
Basic use or application of broadband
• Computer Networks
Broadband is used in computer networks to send messages or packets between computers in the same network for example within LANs or even WANs.
A broadband signaling method is one that handles a wide band of frequencies. The wider the bandwidth is the greater its information carrying capacity.
Digital subscriber Line services are part of broadband in sense that digital information is sent over multiple channels.
• Television and videos
TVs being able to receive a wide range of channels or signals through antennas is a form of broadband.
• Internet Broadband
Broadband is any type of high speed internet access in reference to internet access. It is determined by bandwidth.
There are a variety of wireless devices or connections. These wireless devices or connections, function using radio waves, microwave and electromagnetism etc. The following are some devices that use wireless connections;
• Mobile phones
The following are opportunities that came along with the growth or development of the information age;
Digital Television and videos
Digital television is the transmission of television signals. An example of digital TV is DSTV
These have a variety of uses as stated below;
• They are used for communication for example watching news which is broadcasted to digital television or sending videos in chat rooms.
• They are a source of entertainment whereas people watch funny or interesting videos or television shows for entertainment and pass leisure.
• They are media of advertisement whereas organizations and businesses use digital television and videos so as to promote their businesses.
• Provide job opportunities for those who operate and sometimes those who appear in the videos or digital television.
The presentation of data and information has changed and now there are a variety of ways in which a person can present data which include;
• Use of screens- These are used to provide a visual view of the data or information being presented and are normally used on a small group of people. These screens help illustrate the points making the information easier to understand.
• Using of Projectors-These have the same function as a screen but is used on a wider range or a wider group of people.
• Use of presentation software- Presentation software has made presentation of data simpler and has made it much more interesting and attractive sine it can be designed using presentation software. An example of presentation software is Microsoft Publisher.
Sharing of information has been simplified with the coming of the information, in that the speed and efficiency at which information, ideas and theories are shared is more accurate is quicker. There is a large variety of ways of sharing information such as;
• Through Electronic mail (E-mail), this sends mails of people which contain their ideas, theories, and information and it is done instantly.
• Through forums whereas they post the information in a central website with supervised access. It is best used by large organizations or large work places.
• Through telephone conferences –these give opportunity for people to ask questions and share ideas. These allow large groups of people to have meetings or discussions although they are indifferent places.
• Use of social media etc.
Social media is a cheap way to communicate whereas messages, voice calls and video calls can be done easily and at cheaper prices and this has kept people together whereas even people across the globe from each other can still communicate with each other.
Information age has led to the creation of many jobs thus increasing the job opportunities increasing the rate of employment around the global. Examples of job opportunities include;
• It technicians
• Digital device making organizations
• Web designing etc.
These jobs have led to the earning of income by many individuals since people pay for the above services.
The information age has led to greater interactions among small groups and organizations where as they can keep in touch through means such as use of small Wireless Access Networks(WANs) which make interactions much easier. There are other methods such as;
• Through video conferencing
• Through email addresses
• Through Instant messaging
These make communication easier for people both near and far and are quite affordable.
Mobile technologies such as laptops, mobile and smart phones have blurred the distinction between home and work since work can be done from home the same way it is done from work with the aid of mobile devices such as laptops.
The information age has led to formation of virtual communities where as people in a community are connected together through the internet for example through social media groups such as WhatsApp groups. Members discuss problems, solutions, functions and many other topics in these groups and they are mainly based for the development of the community.
A self-service environment has been introduced whereas consumers carry out activities and transactions by themselves such as:
• Shopping- This can be done online whereas a customer doesn’t have to meet with an attendant to look for a specific item neither does he/she have to meet with a cashier to pay since all can be done by the customer online.
• Banking- This has been simplified in a way that a person doesn’t have to meet a teller at a bank when withdrawing money or depositing due to the introduction of ATMs. Online banking has also been introduced whereas a person can carry out money transactions from anyway providing there is internet access.
• Learning- Learning has been simplified whereas a person no longer needs to be in a class so as to study, a person can read eBooks, researched work of a large variety of topics since the internet is the largest information source and is easily acquired providing there is internet access.
Challenges arising from the information age
• Copyright – copyrights are examples of intellectual properties whereas they safe guard individuals work, projects and designs from being stolen or duplicated for example software, hardware, movies and games. Copyright is paid for and it’s for a limited amount of time.
These are required because in the information age, plagiarism is common and even with these rights the re are still people who pirate other people’s designs, projects and work.
• Employment effect- People who aren’t user friendly with the information age find it difficult to find jobs since most jobs today require people to be skilled in using digital devices and software.
The coming of information age has led to people losing jobs where a machine can do them much better.
• Digital divide – this has led to a gap between those who embraced the digital divide and those who are not friendly with the digital age. This gap has led to some people looking down on others since the find it difficult to use digital devices.