Why IT is so important for Myanmar

In our last post we talked about the dangers that come with the increasing modernization of Myanmar. We said that there might be issues regarding mismanagement, overkill and other negative aspects that already occurred in other countries that became more open towards the west (and east) and its technological developments.

Today however I would like to state, besides all the dangers that sound totally reasonable, why IT is so important for countries on the move and why it will become even more crucial to understand and utilize all technological possibilities.

The obvious reason is, of course, that everybody does it. Technology becomes more and more important in every aspect of life. You need to have some technical understanding and computer skills in every job imaginable.

What is even more important to understand though is that IT is not a necessity in order to get some kind of job. IT opens the door to lots of opportunities that might not have gotten into reach without the internet, computers, etc. So if we and the generations that follow understand that information technology isn’t something that we just ‘need’ or, even worse, is something that ‘threatens’ us but that it is a huge door opener we would be on the right track.

Now I do agree that culture and cultural heritage is important and should not be forgotten – but opening yourself to IT and technological development does not mean you abandon cultures. In fact it actually can help you to preserve culture and spread the word about it.

Another incredible important factor that speaks for IT: It opens and helps to maintain the freedom of speech. Thanks to IT lots of people in countries all over the world communicate & exchange ideas and raise awareness towards important human rights issues. Over the past years countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Cambodia, Thailand and many more saw major news coverage via social media that would have never happened without new media and current technological developments. Governments would have been able to shut down the state owned news stations and that would have been it – thanks to modern IT that wasn’t possible and the world witnessed, intervened and changed the outcome of critical situations that might have become even worse without IT.

Lastly I find it important to mention that, even though I consider myself a big advocate for all things IT and I highly welcome as much implementation of IT in each aspect of life, it still is incredibly important to educate people and to develop an understanding that helps to use IT the ‘right’ way. Hereby I don’t mean countries like Myanmar should have strict rules on internet usage for example. It is way more important that everybody understands the chances that come along with Information Technology but that, as always and everywhere in life, there are also some pitfalls that one needs to be aware of.

So please don’t consider Information Technology, technological development, devices or the internet as a threat – take it as a chance, an opportunity to shape the future of your own life as well as of the development of your country.

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