Growing Up In the Digital World

March 2016

Today’s children grow up in a digital world, one in which technology has transformed the way we communicate and interact.

Young people, for example, take on the world through the Internet, social media and smart mobile devices, said Mr Han Fook Kwang, Editor-at-Large of The Straits Times, Singapore Press Holdings, who took to the podium at the 9th Singapore Children’s Society Lecture with 'Growing Up in the Digital World', on 10 October 2015.

Speaking at the Lifelong Learning Institute, the veteran journalist added that these ‘digital natives’ are better able to navigate the changed world than the older generation.

But the digital world is not without its own challenges, he said, pointing to the loss of privacy and the impact of that on the way people receive information, something Eli Pariser talked about in his book, The Filter Bubble.

Personal information shared on social media platforms, for example, allows businesses to target a person with information that is supposedly interesting and relevant, but can also close someone off to new ideas. “If the Internet only gives you what you are interested in or what you believe in, your world view will be increasingly narrow. You will never be fed things which you are not interested in, even though they may be more important to you than things which you are fed with,” he said.

Despite the potential negative impact, though, the move toward digitisation is a positive force, enhancing access to knowledge, connecting people, and making us autonomous individuals, he concluded, adding that he had faith in society’s ability to adapt and maintain a positive balance between the digital and non-digital worlds. 


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