'More discontent' may be due to technology amplifying voices

While editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang presents an interesting take on why there is "more grumbling than usual about issues especially to do with the Government", I have a different perspective on the matter (Is the ground sour? Time to tackle it; Aug 26).

Hailing from the generation that witnessed life without the convenience of gadgets, I can only conclude that we have to accept the hue and cry from the ground as the new normal.

Previously, when mobile phones and the Internet were virtually unheard of, the chatter of discontent could be heard only in coffee shops or during conversations between family or friends.

However, in the present day, technology has enabled muted voices to be heard through platforms such as social media. The anonymity afforded by such mediums has culminated in a cacophony of outbursts from the ground, which many tend to associate with growing discontent among the people.

The sudden rise in the ubiquity of digital devices has somehow led to the misconception that the conformity and orderliness of the old order have been replaced by the messiness of the new generation.

We have to accept that change and messiness is the new constant.

Technology has amplified the voices on the ground, but we should not jump to conclusions that the ground is, thus, sour. We should, instead, take a positive approach and acknowledge that this has allowed more views to be heard.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2018, with the headline ''More discontent' may be due to technology amplifying voices'. Print Edition | Subscribe