Ever so often, my mind would wonder about the going ons in this world. The natural disasters (the word natural doesn’t sound so good here), globalising lethal viruses and terrorism were common news features. One particular thought that pops up now and then was how society has evolved in the last 30 years or so in Singapore. Why 30 years (meaning since 1984)? Well, it was where significant changes had taken place globally that had also made significant changes to the way people live.
I will spare myself (and readers) from listing all the significant changes or events and focus only on one and that is WWW. Yes, it happened in the 80s and launched into the world like the way Apollo 11 did and made the world go “Wah!”. I recalled back then in Singapore, we watched the televised event of the first man on the moon on our black-and-white TV screen (state of the art at that time). However, there is a HUGE difference as Apollo 11 involved a crew of 3 astronauts and the World Wide Web involved everyone who gets on it and that’s a whole lot more. About WWW, you can say that the world was “Over the Moon” about it.
Talking about the moon, I am digressing as I recall a trip to Taiwan where I spent two nights at the Sun Moon Lake. Why it was called that? Well as you can see from the photos taken, they have magnificent sunsets, and the moon will appear almost at the same time. While I was enjoying the magnificent view of the sun setting, I briefly turned around to look and behold, I would see the moon too! It was nothing like the song “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. I know it is Halloween mood now but it was such a lovely, tranquil and beautiful moment to be cherished always:)
Ok, back to WWW. It has brought about liberation in terms of communication and media use. Connectivity has found it’s centrifugal force! Over time, with such empowerment comes fragmentation of attention and socialisation. Also, those who have these powers, may or may not choose to be responsible with it. So going back to what society is like now in Singapore, and perhaps many other similarly situated and mediated societies globally, a community of many communities each to its own and linked to each other by a thin thread that cannot bind as it is virtual.
My hope and prayer for the next 30 years would be a turnaround from this fragmentation to a focus on what really matters in life and in society. Perhaps life will be “Over the Moon” again!