When talking about technology, of course it cannot be separated from human life. Forever, as long as human civilization exists, technology will continue to be the most important thing in life. The thing that is currently trending and being widely discussed is information and communication technology (ICT), which is one of the most important things in this century. It cannot be denied that ICT cannot be separated from human life. Starting from small children to the elderly, small traders to large entrepreneurs, whether they realize it or not, they are very dependent on ICT.
If viewed from a historical perspective, ICT has actually been known to humans for hundreds of centuries. Since humans were created on this earth, humans have started trying to communicate with symbols and signs. This is the starting point for the development of ICT. ICT is developing very rapidly to date. Nowadays, distance and time no longer seem to be obstacles in communicating. People on different islands and even different countries are now able to communicate and can even display it visually. One of the things that is currently becoming a trend is internet and electronic-based activities. Some examples include e-learning, e-banking, e-library, e-laboratory, e-mail and so on. These electronic-based activities are definitely very helpful for human activities. With the above, the dimensions of space and time are no longer an obstacle. Apart from that, the data processing process is getting faster and more efficient. Various electronic items ranging from televisions, cellphones, pagers, PDAs, laptops to palmtops have become familiar items to the public. The development of ICT is also increasingly rapid along with the discovery of more sophisticated tools.
Seeing what is happening now, you can imagine what might happen in the future. The distance will no longer be felt. In the future, long-distance communication will be carried out using three-dimensional holograms that are very real. Human jobs will begin to be done by robots that work automatically and are able to learn from their experience so they can correct mistakes they make by themselves. Computer technology will also develop rapidly. Future computers will be able to respond to human actions and understand human language. Even more sophisticated, it is predicted that future generations of computers will have feelings like humans.
Impact of Technological Development
The positive side is that people are active users of technology, websites and social communication media, they can convey information and also get information more easily. Communication, especially in Indonesia, feels as if it has become easier with the development of this technology. If seen from the negative side, this technological progress makes people lazy to communicate directly. People prefer to interact via their cellphones rather than communicating with people around them. For example, a child is busy chatting with friends on his cellphone rather than talking to his siblings while a family event is taking place. Sometimes these technological advances also make someone less sensitive to expressions when communicating with the person they are talking to.
When people are too busy with their phones or PCs, then they spend quite a long time interacting in cyberspace, they don’t realize that they are wasting their time interacting with the real life around them. The large number of social media users and internet users proves that Indonesian people prefer to interact and socialize virtually with other social media and internet users.
According to a survey conducted by MarkPlus Insight (dailysocial.net) on November 13 2012 regarding internet users in Indonesia, there are three things that can support the statement regarding the large number of people who communicate virtually. 40% of Internet users in Indonesia, namely around 24.2 million people, access the Internet for more than 3 hours every day. Apart from that, the majority of Internet users in Indonesia are aged 15 to 35 years. And approximately 56.4% of people are bargain hunters, namely people who can access the Internet to look for information and anything for their needs for quite a long time.
Specifically for Indonesia, advances in technology have had a huge impact on various aspects. These aspects include the economic and social sectors. Based on data from the Ministry of Communication and Information of the Republic of Indonesia (Menkominfo), one of the ranks of the Ministers of the Republic of Indonesia stated that Indonesia is one of the countries with the most people accessing the Internet in the world. Apart from that, a research institute also states that Indonesia is ranked fifth in the list of largest smartphone users throughout the world. In this data, it is also stated that Indonesia is in the top 5 positions with active internet users, namely 47 million or around 14% of all mobile phone users.
One of the mass communication experts, namely Harold D. Laswell and Charles Wright, once stated the social function of mass media. The actual function includes the first as a form of effort to disseminate information and interpret as objectively as possible regarding events that occur (Social Surveillance). Second, as an effort to disseminate information that can connect one social group with other social groups (Social Correlation). Next, it is an effort to pass on noble values from one generation to the next (Socialization). And the last one is as an entertainer for the masses (Entertainment). (Dahlan, 2008)
According to Harold D. Laswell and Charles Wright, these four functions are starting to erode due to ongoing technological advances. Now the boundaries of mass communication and interpersonal communication have become somewhat blurred. Because with the increasing development of technology, especially in Indonesia, new ways of communicating will also emerge, in this case for example through social media. Maybe now the function of a cell phone from initially only serving to send messages or call someone has developed far into a ‘laptop’ that can be easily taken anywhere. An example related to this development is that now someone may not know someone’s telephone number even though that person is their close friend. The person prefers to save the BB pin compared to saving the person’s telephone number.
Seeing this phenomenon that is currently occurring, especially in Indonesia, it is very worrying that technological developments will have a negative impact on the social life of Indonesian society. In connection with this development, there is also a need to increase public awareness regarding the surrounding environment. Changes due to technological developments which occur quite quickly, unconsciously or consciously have changed several people’s lifestyles, especially in Indonesia. For example, now many children are dependent on their and their parents’ gadgets.
Apart from that, the negative impact is that their social development becomes very slow. Because they are too focused on the gadget. And in Indonesia today, the role of mass media, technology and social media holds quite high control. This can easily and relatively quickly influence public opinion. For example, in the world of Twitter the term buzzer is known. The buzzer here acts like an opinion leader, if that person tweets something, many people will think like the buzzer thinks. Technological progress does have many positive impacts, but there are also negative impacts. In the case of this buzzer, for example, if the information being disseminated is important and useful knowledge then it is a very positive thing, but if the information is fabrication or slander against someone or something then it will be detrimental to the parties concerned.
The conclusion that we need to pay attention to is that everyone, especially the Indonesian people, must be really smart to sort out the positive and negative sides so that technological developments and how communication should be carried out are carried out correctly and in a balanced manner.