In the first ten years of the 21st century the number of people connected to the Internet worldwide increased from 350 million individuals to more than 2,000 million. Currently, the figure already exceeds 2.4 billion people.
But the adoption of this technology, unheard of for its speed of propagation (we are talking about only ten years), has only just begun. By 2025 it is estimated that the majority of humanity will have access to the Internet. In fact, we are already attending this adoption by people we would never say connect to the Internet, from Masai warriors to teenagers in the Gaza Strip.
Millions of new minds
As Internet adoption increases, so does speed and computing power. Moore's law, in 2025, predicts that a computer will be 64 times faster than in 2013. The photon lawRegarding the transmission of information, it predicts that the amount of data will double every 9 months.
But the most important transformation is not predicted by any law: it goes through the qualitative leap that will give people who do not even know what a smartphone is, incorporating their brains to the global village in order to participate in the great conversation 2.0. As they expose enthusiastically and deeply optimistically Eric Schmidt Y Jared Cohen in his recent book The digital future:Advertising
Soon we will all be connected on Earth. With the five billion more people who are going to join the virtual world, the digital connectivity boom will bring benefits in productivity, health, education, quality of life, and countless other possibilities in the physical world. And this will be the case for everyone, from the most elite users to those at the base of the economic pyramid.
Never before in the history of mankind have so many people from so many different places in the world had so much power at their fingertips, nor has this power lavished so quickly, cheaply and efficiently. There is very little, if it is not happening already, that practically everyone can already count, develop, disseminate and have digitizable content in all its manifestations without using intermediaries and with a marginal cost close to zero.
Many societies are skipping, in fact, a whole technological generation at once. Moving from having no telephone (no running water or electricity), to having a low-cost smartphone with which to access the Internet. So that we all have the Gutenberg printing press in 2.0 in our own hands.
On the world stage, the most significant impact of the spread of communication technologies will be the way in which they help to relocate the concentration of power away from states and institutions and transfer it to individuals. Throughout history, the advent of new information technologies has often strengthened successive generations of people at the expense of traditional holders of power, be it the king, the church or the elites. Therefore, at present, access to information and new communication channels means new opportunities to participate, maintain power and direct the course of our own lives.
We ignore even if all this will have an impact on a better world or not (it also depends on how we define better). What is clearly clear is that the changes are occurring, and at such a high speed that with each blink something changes from our immediate surroundings and around all the people that populate the planet. Let's take an optimistic or pessimistic posture, we are living interesting, very interesting times.