ICT - Term Overview

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When we talk about ICT or Information and Communication Technologies, we refer to a diverse group of practices, knowledge and tools, linked to the consumption and transmission of information and developed from the vertiginous technological change that humanity has experienced in the last decades, specially as a result of the appearance of the Internet.

There is no clear concept of ICTs, however, since this term is used in a similar way to that of the " Information Society ", that is, they are used to indicate the paradigm shift in the way we consume information today, compared to times gone by. This has to do with areas as diverse as love relationships, corporate finance, the entertainment industry, and even everyday work.

This means that the new Information and Communication Technologies have revolutionized our way of life, allowing the invention of new goods and services, new methods of commercialization and collection, as well as alternative means for the flow of information, that aren't always legal or go through controlled areas of society.

Unlike previous times, ICTs today allow us to communicate instantaneously and across enormous geographical distances, overcoming borders and promoting the process of global interconnection known as globalization.

Advantages of ICTs

The virtues of ICTs aren't difficult to list: their greater speed, capacity and distribution of information allow users from different parts of the planet to connect using computers and other specialized devices, to communicate in multiple ways and undertake different transactions: buy and sell objects and information, share personal data, chat in real time, even play video games online even without speaking the same language.

This, no doubt, has revolutionized everyday life. The information that was previously in the books, in specialized services and databases, today is dispersed in the multiple corridors of the Internet and can circulate much more freely and democratically, although at times in a much less organized way. The idea of ​​the postal service and the messaging service took a turn, too: a smartphone with a camera and an Internet connection is enough to share information with someone on the other side of the world.

Likewise, ICTs inaugurated specialized work areas and new forms of consumption of goods and services, such as business Community Managers or remote Freelancers. They have even left their mark on interpersonal and love relationships, which no longer perceive distance as something insurmountable.

Disadvantages of ICTs

Not everything is positive with ICTs. Among other things, they have promoted a dispersion of information, devoid of cataloging systems and knowledge legitimation, which translates into a greater degree of content disorder (as occurs with the Internet) and even premature access to it, fostering ignorance and irresponsibility in the general public, incapable of discerning whether the sources are reliable or not.

Likewise, these new technologies have promoted an enormous exposure of intimate and personal life, in addition to the obligation of a permanent connection to the different virtual communities that have been established, giving rise to addictive or unhealthy behaviors, and new forms of risk. Cultural autism, social isolation and childhood hyperstimulation, as well as the enormous risks to privacy, are some of the problems that concern the most around ICTs today.

Examples of ICTs

Some examples of ICTs can be the following:

- Electronic commerce: More and more services and products are offered through the Internet or applications on mobile devices, allowing the development of an entire immediate and international commercial branch.
- Virtual communities: Networks of users who share related themes, passions or simply want to expand their social circle, find digital spaces conducive to interaction over distances.
- Instant messaging: Services for computers or smart cell phones that allow immediate, efficient and direct communication, are increasingly used today.
- Email: The digital version of postal mail doesn't go out of style, since it allows not only the sending of written information but also photographs and other attachments, the reception of which is nevertheless instantaneous, no matter how far away the sender and recipient are.

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