The World Wide Web (WWW) fondly called the internet is now 30 years since its debut; could also be called 30 years younger. Today, the internet has undoubtedly revolutionized communication but its biggest impact is the way in which it is shaping the way people think as well. The internet has also created a platform which could be used to even do businesses and earn substantial commercials.
Now, in circumstances involving usage of the internet for both communication as well as business; digital today is the in-thing; can life go on beyond the internet and extend well above social presence and social media. Surprisingly, the answer is both a yes and a no. Also, India should now be leading the next-gen internet innovations, especially the social media scheme of things (social networking as well) especially through her Make in India initiative.
Life beyond, and outside of the world wide web
Firstly, the internet with all its flaws (such as inadequate privacy mechanisms, susceptibility to hacking allowing backdoor entry to criminals, and more) is an inherent part of life today. In fact, the internet and applications resulting from it have been encouraging users to have a digital life as well. If it is digital life that you seek, then the answer to the question of having a life outside of the internet is a bold “YES”.
This is because a digital life, through a digital presence, often potentially results in users concentrating on aspects such as privacy and protection of confidential data thereby enabling deployment of suitable privacy mechanisms and data protection services to enable data to stay safe and secure thereby resulting in potential peace of mind. The internet also becomes a more secure platform as a result of having enhanced digital presences (of users).
The other question, worth answering at this juncture, is life for users not preferring a digital presence. Under these circumstances, at least an email id would become the need of the hour in modern times, creation of email ids result in users having to share at least a minimal amount of personal information resulting in a skeletal presence on the internet. Thus, the answer is “No” in this regard.
It is now time for homegrown social network innovations to safeguard local interests
With commercials, through the internet being the next factor to ponder over, the world wide web has been resulting in opening up of avenues for various businesses and related opportunities for harnessing the “power of data” to earn revenue. Unsafe data, most often than not, reaches wrong hands potentially getting sold to other web agencies in exchange for money. We have seen instances wherein user data shared on social media networks has been traded for both monetary as well as selfish gains; often by Western agents constantly on the prowl for local Indian data.
Would a homegrown Indian social network, having both its cloud as well as physical servers at the local level, be useful to prevent data colonization by vested interests. At this juncture, countries like China have their own social networks which have been serving as alternatives to popular social media sites viz Facebook and Twitter. There Is even a local search engine (Baidu) that renders results in the local language and interface. Google does offer this feature in many Indian languages, but what about user data storage? The company has been making constant efforts in offering complete privacy for its user base.
With India often producing great minds like Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Narayan Murthy, and even inspiration to a host of innovators viz the late Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as well, the challenge of a completely localized (and stored on local clouds completely safeguarded) is now certainly worth solving. Gone are the days when the country was considered as a mere services hub, time has now come for you to step up to achieve your greatest “data potential”. Do you agree?