The Alteration of Forms and Practices of Social Change Caused by ICT
It is undeniable that the upbringing of ICT has also caused incremental effects to development works in few decades. International development agencies are of the same opinion that ICTs can cost-effectively create and unleash the developmental force of human socio-economic and political networks (Rao 2005) although a sturdy subject is opposed in this essay to question how cost effective ICT could be if we compare the total cost with the total reach of digital users, which despondently are scattered in developed areas with sufficient technology infrastructure, causing the subsistence of digital divide (Granqvist 2005).
Irrefutably, ICT has transformed social media applications to major instruments in altering social change processes by generating two ways of communication pattern with a requirement of full participation from/to diverse users to produce elongated feedback without time and space boundaries. The process of social change is modified collectively with the acclamation of democratic, civic participation to endorse freedom and equality, transparency, accountability, and legitimacy. Enabled by ICT social media have become an important new resource for the successful organization of bottom-up, grassroots movements and leaderless collective actions. They have multiple roles in terms of organizing and implementing collective activities, promoting a sense of community, propelling public will mobilization, boosting civic engagement, enabling citizen journalism, raising public awareness, creating less-confined political spaces, rallying support for political causes (or publicizing causes to gain support from the global community) (Eltantawy & Wiest 2011; Khamis 2011) alternative (critical) public spheres, etc. This is due to their unsurpassed potential in enabling continued, dynamic flow of communication, speed in public mobilization, and new mediated communication patterns. Numerous scholars (e.g., Langman 2005; Della Porta & Mosca 2005; Wasserman 2007) have pointed to social media such as social-networking sites as being, collectively, a critical new resource for the successful organization and implementation of social movements (Eltantawy & Wiest 2011). However, could the process of social change, caused by ICT development, lead to a better state welfare is another subject that should be raised and to conform it will require not only many participatory disciples in promoting freedom and democracy and technology engineers to distribute equal digital access, but also more development doers that could transform the epitome of all to the real constituent benefit for citizens in terms of social welfare.