Information Renaissance- Opportunities and Challenges
Renaissance– “a period of new growth or activity”. Merriam-Webster
We are experiencing a point in our evolution where we have access to an unprecedented amount of information to which individuals are contributing daily. An article by Dr. J. Gillette purports a renaissance era as times when society experiences negative and positive challenges during transition into a new area or age. As technology plays a larger role in an individuals’ daily habits, it is important to note these challenges during our time of growth.
The ability to plug into the internet for information, communication, curiosity, and amusement is driving the Information Renaissance. We are collaborating on a global scale to improve healthcare, education, infrastructure, and maintain personal relationships. We have information at our fingertips (positive) but are reactive, a consequence due to our infancy in understanding the need to be responsible and be aware of negatives associated with communicating in a technology age.
For instance, Social Media allows people to connect and collaborate regardless of geospatial, demographic, and cultural barriers. You can share books you like, music interests, scholarly works, news, and new information. Alternatively, if you choose your social network based on similar likes and dislikes the opportunity to experience something new, outside your comfort zone, narrows. We are lucky to explore and experience the unknown. On the flip side, we can also seclude ourselves and seek out only information and sources to support our positions and understanding.
A look at the reliability of “news” in the Information Renaissance sums up the positive/negative relationship we are struggling to balance. As explorers delving through information, we as individuals are responsible for filtering the information we receive. We have a responsibility to become information literate. There is information and misinformation, the test for validity falls to us. We must look past the surface to see if the information we are receiving is factual, reliable, and credible. Not everyone is a scholar so we will struggle with this new responsibility while continuing to evolve and grow with the information we gain.