In the last century alone, the human race has landed on the moon, established sequencing of genomes, and created the Internet. Despite these significant advancements, there are many arguments stating that the human race is slowly but surely becoming less intelligent. Each time you pick up a newspaper or tune into the news, you learn about the latest and greatest innovative developments that are headlining around the world and how they will increase the efficiency of everyday life or make things easier.
Just as the Industrial Revolution heralded the coming of the Industrial Age, the Information Revolution has heralded the dawning of the Information Age, in which modern society will be characterized not by traditional industry but by an economy of information. Each new development improves the process of accumulating, manipulating, and retrieving data with the use of computerized and electronic devices. No longer does a person need to study to know something about a subject. The newest advances put the power of information at everyone’s fingertips, providing nearly instant access to a wealth of information that increasingly renders more traditional means of accumulating knowledge old fashioned.
Essentially, the phrase “information availability” simply means accessibility. This phrase is extremely powerful in all aspects of life. This is the ability to have applications and systems for gathering and analyzing data available whenever they are needed. Modern society has dictated this necessity. In a society of people who want what they want, when they want it, the accessibility of information is crucial. While traditional education is still valued, it is not as coveted as it was in the past. This is because this kind of education takes years effort and dedication. The Information Age has brought about the ability to access the information that you are seeking with a quick search, perhaps rendering years of learning superfluous.
Impact of the Information Age
The impact of the Information Age provides benefits in all aspects of life; however, these benefits can be seen most clearly in the business world. Having the information that is needed immediately provides a competitive edge for companies to ensure that they are staying a step ahead of their rivals. It is also an essential tool to use in marketing campaigns and other aspects of business promotion.
What is the driving force behind the Information Age? The ability for anyone to receive the information they seek quickly and easily, without having to spend money, time, or effort learning about the subject themselves. While education still provides the path for someone to become an expert in a specific field, this route is losing popularity. Instead, anyone can access the information they seek online or through other methods of modern technology can learn the minimum of what they need and move on. Increasingly, young entrepreneurs and business professionals are seeing years of schooling and school loans as a less attractive option, since so much information can be had so quickly.
There is no need for extended retention of this information, either, due to the fact that it is able to be accessed at any time, by anyone. This Information Age provides fuel for a fast-moving society that is growing by leaps and bounds in the realm of technology advancements. Where does this leave traditional education? Are we, as a society, ready to abandon the idea that only years of thorough study can make a person an expert? Our relationship with knowledge and expertise is sure to change in the coming years as the relative abundance of information calls into question what it means to know something.