Over the last decade, the Internet had a profound impact on the way the world works. It’s changed the way not just people but whole countries interact, allowed more people to be connected and allowed information to be shared in an instant. So the big question is, will global Internet access put us on the path toward world peace?
The Internet Brings Us Together
Since the beginning stages of the Internet, people have predicted it might be the catalyst that finally sets the world toward a more peaceful existence. The Internet is the single most-effective tool toward breaking down borders between countries.
Recent events have shown this to be true. When the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was attacked by extremists both Twitter and Facebook lit up with the phrase “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) as people across the world showed their support for the victims and French citizens. The Internet has the power to unite everyone toward a common goal.
If the Internet were available on a global scale, perhaps that would give the world as a whole a greater chance of finding common ground.
It Also Improves Economies
The 2014 Global Peace Index indicates the ten countries most likely to deteriorate in peace over the next two years are ones with little to no Internet access or ability to spread information. They’re also underdeveloped countries, primarily in Africa and South America, like Zambia and Haiti.
Criminologists have long theorized that areas with high unemployment and bad economies are more prone to violence and crime, though some economists tend to disagree. It’s the classic battle between the haves and the have-nots. The rich oppress the poor while the poor rebel and fight back against the rich for an equal place in the world.
So, in theory, Internet access should solve this problem.
The Internet isn’t just a form of communication, it does something far more important: it creates jobs. Since 2012 there are more entrepreneurs than ever before thanks heavily to Internet access and the ability to use it to create and implement new ideas.
Young men and women across the globe are creating businesses and technology thanks to their ability to communicate and share ideas with one another. Global startups are occurring in large numbers, most of which are designed to be implemented across the globe.
We reported last year that five billion people in the world do not have access to the Internet, primarily in developing nations, but there were groups looking to change that. Many developing nations have poor economies and little access to education or information. By providing them with Internet access, we could potentially turn the tide on the horrible conditions that proliferate in these areas.
It’s a known fact that access to education, which the Internet provides, leads to a more intelligent and informed populace. This in turn trends toward wider civil rights.
The Internet Levels The Playing Field
By bringing these smaller nations into the Internet fold it may cut down on the black markets that flourish in these areas as well as provide them with businesses where they can earn more income, creating less social and financial divide.
The Internet has the capability to help balance the global economy by giving both large and developing nations equal opportunity to expand and grow, as well as share information. If there were less disproportion among larger countries and smaller ones, there would be less need to fight wars over things like oil and gas.
We’ve already seen that as economies grow countries become more reliant on one another, like the United States and China, thanks to geo-economics. Essentially, the more integrated countries become they also become less interested in war and conflict. Open information through the Internet is the key to allowing nations to prosper and goals to become more aligned.
As they say, knowledge is power, and the more knowledge shared throughout the world the closer we’ll become to achieving world peace.
Image by Marcela Palma/Flikr
Ben Kerns is a fan of all things related to technology and the Internet, especially when it comes to discovering new ways to further merge the two together. When he's not plugged in, he enjoys the great outdoors, healthy living, and singing off-tune to cheesy country songs.
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