Has the spread of communication technology been beneficial or harmful to democracy?

Has the spread of communication technology been beneficial or harmful to democracy?

April 9, 2020 0 By Nirattisai Kasiwat
technology

In the modern era where technology and social media plays a vital role in democratic society. As we have rights to know every aspect related to our life, the communication technology helps us to be updated and well-informed with the information, upcoming events, and news which considered as basic needs in this type of society. At this point, it should be
told that communication technology nowadays has more positive impacts to democracy than its drawbacks which will be elaborated further in the following paragraphs.

Drawback

One clear drawback brought by such technology is believed to be fake news. Due to the rise of modern technology, we seem to have extremely beyond and sophisticated electronic devices such as our modern smart phones, computers, tablets, and so on which take only a few seconds to deliver us news and other updating information about our society or country. Also, in democratic society especially with the features of social media nowadays,
anyone can be a writer or publisher of their own content which sometimes can be the loophole of existing fake news which could impact the freedom society. The aim of disinformation is to create misconception in the society which directly harms the democracy. On the other hand, in the freedom society we do have rights to perceive the truth which these days have taken away by distort information. As we might already know the impacts of false
information that probably exist almost everywhere online, this problem seems to be extremely hard to get rid of. Therefore, as a netizen or receiver of online information, I think it is good for us to know what is called “Mediation theory” (a framework explained the process of individual deciding what to do further with the received information from both mass media and traditional media). By all means, once a person saw the content, they will consider whether to share or not to share. If they consider to share or send forward, they do share the content in positive or negative way. For instance, my professor saw online information and she realized that information was obviously fake news. So, she decided to share that content
on the online platform and point out to her followers that the information was totally fake. This way, she is considered as a person who rely on mediation theory which her action is helpful for others and also can be an effective way to stop fake news. While there are negative impacts brought by digital technology, it somehow has more positive effect toward our democracy.

Positive Consequences

Surprisingly, the benefit of these tech innovations outweigh its negative
consequences. As I mentioned at the beginning part that such technology keeps us updated with the current issues and well-informed with the information from both reliable sources or even the opinion or comment section which also known as “Public Sphere” where people are able to share their opinions freely without any restriction. In democratic society, people basically need to receive straight forward and non-bias information or news about the government and the country; for example, in terms of politics, people need some significant information such as parties’ names and list of candidates who enroll in the election (Renata Avila, 2018). This type of information can guide people which way they want their country to
be. This information is considered crucial for most people to think and make decision that affect their daily life routine. This way, such information should not be interfered and distorted by the power of authorities or the government. If the biased information has been spread in the society, it could affect the democracy as a whole especially a person’s decision
making which considered as the most crucial thing when it comes to politics. Therefore, journalists should be able to gather, write, and publish the true story in every aspect that happened in the society without being interfered or intimidated by those people who own power in their hand. Journalists and broadcasting companies should be free to post or publish
their news contents via social media and traditional broadcasting media such as television, radio, or newspaper which are considered as communication technology.

Social media can be a tool that people use to represent, show, and promote their personality like the way they are and the way they wanted to be in the democratic society. As people can behave freely, they can use such technology to express who they are to the outside world. For example, LGBTQ people can use the internet platform to show the topic of gender
fluidity which is considered as a topic that should be accepted in terms of gender equality. This way, they can use their rights of freedom to inform and raise the awareness of people about particular issue effectively.

Last but not least, social media can be a tool to represent the social problem in the modern society. In most country, the journalists could rely on social media applications to listens to what people are facing and suffering from and come out a news to raise the government awareness. For example, natural disasters caused damage in particular area. People can voice out the problems on online platform. When the journalists or the organization see the problem, they can spread out and shout out to government to help the
victims. Another clear example is an education problem. In remote area where there is no technological approach and people seem to be uneducated. Lack of education leading to poverty is what people in rural area are facing until today. We as a member of democratic society can use social media to speak out to the government to solve the problem for. In the
end, the government can provide them with better life quality, occupation, or even better facilities because we have rights to possess our basic needs in the freedom society. At this point, these are all the positive outcomes of the communication technology nowadays that directly affect our democratic society.

Conclusion

All in all, I totally think that communication technology obviously has more positive impacts to democracy which is a sophisticated sign of democratic society and well developed country at the same time. Also, these benefits of such technology should not be limited or even taken away by any person or organization as well. Do any of you guys think differently? Please feel free to let me know!

References
– http://zoelarssonmedia.blogspot.com/2012/09/mediation-in-media.html
– https://apolitical.co/en/solution_article/as-democracy-goes-digital-those- offline-are-beingpushed-out-of-politics