Digitalisation: blessing or curse?

Electronic data processing has become integral to all areas of modern life - business and industry, the world of employment, schools and leisure activities. Commentators look at how far on the process of digitalisation is and what must be done to ensure that it is beneficial rather than detrimental.

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Kathimerini (GR) /

Huxley's and Orwell's nightmare

Economist Platon Tinios takes a dim view of digitalisation in Kathimerini:

“The fears are being confirmed: Huxley's technological nightmare has joined hands with Orwell's politics. Technically exacerbated inequalities spur on totalitarianism, while the window of redemption offered by such inventions seems small indeed. Developments are driven by competition, and if you step on the brakes you're pushed to the side. ... Theoretically it's possible to find a way out of this nightmare. The problem is that we believe the solution lies in the fact that people and structures are adaptable. But they aren't.”

De Telegraaf (NL) /

Germany: in the digital third world

De Telegraaf's Germany correspondent Rob Savelberg takes a dim view of neighbouring Germany's backwardness when it comes to mobile networks and digitalisation:

“Germany is backwards when it comes to mobile reachability. ... If you drive out from Berlin to the thinly populated back country of Brandenburg the fun is over. You either can't be reached at all or only barely by mobile. Germany is like a third-world country. Half of Eastern Germany has problems, and elsewhere too mobiles don't work because of mountains or the lack of fibreglass cables. ... Germany is at the same level as Angola, and even behind countries like Bulgaria or Macedonia.”

Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) /

Sometimes people should meet people

Digitalisation should not be seen as a cure-all, Kristeligt Dagblad remarks:

“Many of the problems with digitalisation could be resolved if we stop seeing this process as good per se. ... In reality this is an expression of an immature approach to digitalisation, which is probably based on the fact that the trend is just 20 to 30 years old. The same immaturity is evident in the way people deal with smartphones and other devices in the private sphere or in classes at school. We owe it to ourselves to think about when it really makes sense to digitalise and when it's better for people to meet people. Often a combination of the two is the best solution.”

Iltalehti (FI) /

Writing yourself makes you smarter

Schools should think carefully about what they use digital media for in classes, writes Iltalehti:

“The use of digital media in schools must not become an end in itself. We know from brain research that people can remember things they have written by hand better than machine written texts because with the former they can build up supportive memory structures. Despite the digitalisation euphoria there must be open discussion in schools about when and in which class situations the use of digital media makes sense, so that children and youths learn optimally.”