By Fr George Adimike
It is beyond controversy that Internet data can be saving or savaging, running or ruining lives. The ramifications of the digital economy discriminate between sheer producers and chronic consumers. Through its charm, the digital economy funds each of the divides’ dispositions. While many leverage the Internet data to thrive and flourish as producers of values, others barter their greatest resources for pleasure, comfort and immediate satisfaction from the social media.
In so doing, they lose focus in the digital village square and behave like the goat that forgot its brain in the forest while on a stealing spree in the farmer’s house. In consequence, it got entrapped while its partner-in-crime, the tortoise, ran to its heels. Such persons become victims who spend their data without letting it work for them. Obviously, on account of the Internet (social media), some young people are excised from the community, left vulnerable and ruined. They, in turn, inflict society with a myriad of social maladies, compounding the already precarious situation.
Yet, since data is the new oil, those who invest well will reap the digital dividend. Unfortunately, while tech giants reap cool dollars in rewards from our attention capital, many do not realize that their ultimate data is being spent. Thus these tech companies steal our primary resource. Easily, people romanticize and glamorize their capacity to consume and indeed, raise consumer-consciousness to measure of class.
Whoever cannot consume does not belong, thereby erecting a status symbolism on one’s ability to consume what tech giants offer us, taking no notice of the consequences. As man’s appreciation for humanity wanes, and on the threshold of AI (Artificial Intelligence), which promises to be the proximate digital frontier, consumption as a criterion of value has spent its days. One’s capacity to break even has reached a new level of depth in importance.
Nowadays, the world offers an agenda in which data is both a dominating steward and an investment. Technically, data means known facts or pieces of information; in a word, data means information. However, the concern of this piece is the Internet or mobile data, which means the stuff on which the Internet runs. It is the content that gives Internet access through mobile signals delivered to devices over a wireless connection.
Mobile data funds the use of the Internet besides Wi-Fi, allowing our mobile devices to get online. Measured by bytes, together with Wi-Fi, data fund the Internet operations. Due to its importance for the contemporary world, some are under the illusion that mobile data is absolutely indispensable.
It is undeniable that whoever controls data rules the world. Quite significantly, the new economic and security wars of this century are struggles over data. It is not surprising that companies that deal on data are by far richer than multiple nations that are rich in natural resources combined. Regrettably, many young people save money just to buy data without using it to foster their personal development. Some sacrifice their best resources to get hold of what data provides, mindless that data robs our attention and focus, and force us to engage only with the present. Data lures one to stuff he/she could not have easily accepted without remembering that God forgives and forgets, but the Internet neither forgives nor forgets.
While exchanging nudities, watching pornography and engaging in Internet fraud, what data provides robs us of what data cannot provide:happiness, peace and God. Data steals our time, abuses our treasure and ruins our talent, leaving us stranded, harassed and confused in the digital continent of the 21st century quotidian existence.
The Internet has come to stay, and no going back. It is a gift of God through the ingenuity of human intelligence and labour to communicate God’s glory, join in cosmic worship of divine majesty and foster human flourishing. However, it is a very jealous lover, which rarely allows you to serve another master. But for those who master it, it becomes the means and instrument of production. Are you consuming data, or is data working for you? How much is what data offers distracting your focus, attention and opportunity to be greater than Mark Zugerberg, Joseph Ratzinger, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Winifrey Oprah, and Cristiano Ronaldo?
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Failing to leverage the resources of the Internet to leapfrog present developmental quagmires will likely have adverse consequences on the youth. They will end up failures and dimwits if data robs them of the drive, discipline, ambition, determination and focus on being greater than the producers of these data—the stuff we consume. Unfortunately, many young people suspend their ingenuity and creativity in consumption.
They underutilize their power of imagination and are merely satisfied that they can consume, boasting of their capacity to consume products. They refuse to be masters; they refuse to be drivers of their destinies but are satisfied staying on the old paths.
This time of crisis offers young and not-so-young people a cheap deception and an opportunity of wasting their greatest data. They squander the quality of their persons. There is no data greater than a person’s self-worth—the opportunities and possibilities open to one. The use of data can open opportunities and enhance the possibilities or limit them. Data comes from the infinite Data of life.
Once one is well and deeply connected with God, the Eternal Data of life, one is sure to apply other data properly to enhance his or her personal data. Otherwise, one might finish his or her data, and it takes a wise person to use ordinary data to increase personal data consistent with the supernatural identity of man.