Phone service has severed its connection to the overhead wires in recent years. Computers are now found in our pockets instead of the climate-controlled offices of the past. Video has moved from our living rooms to the same smartphones. Social media have trumped conventional media. The cloud has practically taken over the world, making enormous amounts of data and apps accessible anywhere there is a broadband connection.
The Hyperconnectivity’s Properties
We are currently dealing with the phenomena of hyperconnectivity because of this communications development that is accelerating at an increasingly rapid rate. The phrase refers to a wide range of engagement and communication channels as well as how they affect both individual and group behavior.
There are many crucial characteristics of hyperconnectivity:
- Always on: Thanks to widespread mobile devices and broadband, people can stay in constant contact with their loved ones, coworkers, friends, hobbies, obsessions, and other things.
- Easily reachable: People and businesses are connected via a vast array of mobile devices and personal computers; these connections are increasingly available at any time and in any location.
- Rich in information the availability of information—from the strategic to the mundane—is constantly assured by websites, search engines, social media, and 24-hour news and entertainment channels, far exceeding anyone’s capacity to consume.
- Interactive: Hyperconnectivity makes it possible for everyone to share their opinions on almost anything.
- It’s not only about people: Hyperconnectivity enables connections between machines, fostering the growth of the so-called Internet of Things.
- Constant recording: A significant portion of everyone’s daily activities and communications are part of a semi-permanent record thanks to service records, practically infinite storage capacities, miniaturized video cameras, global positioning systems, sensors, and more. These factors, along with peoples’ desire to document their own activities, also play a role.
The overall result of hyperconnectivity is that time and space’s physical bounds are virtually gone. It is a virtualized experience. To do tasks that once required face-to-face contact, no longer needs to be in the same room with your colleague, your teacher, or your doctor—or even the same nation.
Hyperconnectivity presents us with both advantages and difficulties. It has the potential to be an effective collaboration tool that promotes global alignment, improved productivity, and material development. At the same time, it has very rapidly changed the way many tasks are performed, and people are expected to accommodate those changes. There is a risk of abuse with all of that data and all of that access.
Those who haven’t yet experienced the effects of hyperconnectivity most likely will soon. According to statistics, it is a growing phenomenon:
- As of the end of 2010, there were 503 million fixed broadband subscribers worldwide. With the addition of 48 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2010, this number is predicted to rise to 674 million by the year 2014.
- In 2010, there were reportedly 7.8 billion mobile connections worldwide.
- The number of cellular mobile broadband customers increased by approximately 60% in 2010 to reach 558 million globally; by 2015, this number is expected to surpass 2 billion.
How can we shape and use hyperconnectivity to our benefit?
Since communication technologies are transforming so many facets of life and opening so many new opportunities across the individual, social, and business spectra, hyperconnectivity is possibly the most significant development today.
Until now, the infrastructure that has allowed for hyperconnectivity to thrive has primarily been built and maintained by the global communications service providers and their networks, with the assistance of an ecosystem of researchers, developers, consumer electronics and equipment manufacturers, as well as people in the service industry.
Hyperconnectivity is probably already a major part of these companies’ operations and will undoubtedly play a major role in the future products and services they provide. Although the development of hyperconnectivity must be based on the free enterprise model, it cannot be assumed that the service providers and their business partners will do so on their own. To ensure that we, as a global community, are taking the broadest possible view of hyperconnectivity so that it can fulfill its promise of economic development, more effective healthcare, greater sustainability, and increased educational benefits, a coalition of public-private partnerships as well as the participation of nongovernmental organizations will be required. To create and carry out the coordinated strategies required to fully take advantage of these opportunities, a broad perspective is required.
The technologies that enable hyperconnectivity can be utilized, disregarded, used haphazardly, or strategically incorporated into a government’s strategy to accomplish an objective. Our world’s hyperconnectivity has brought about global prosperity, but it has also made it feasible for shocks on one side of the globe to have a frighteningly quick impact on communities on the other. In other words, depending on the situation in which they are utilized, these technologies may be both advantageous and detrimental, empowering, or hazardous. Recent events in North Africa and the UK have demonstrated how various forms of communications technology and hyperconnectivity have become essential components of social movements of all stripes. The only thing that government leaders and enterprise managers cannot do with these technologies is make them go away.
We must acknowledge that setting acceptable guidelines for how individuals, societies, businesses, and the government will be held accountable for managing our relationships and obligations considering the accessibility of new technologies and capabilities is still in its very early stages. Increased access to information, new ways to combine and share previously incompatible data sources, and the widespread usage of connected devices raise new questions about consumer and business trust and privacy. Therefore, policymakers and company executives need to think about the best ways to inform users about potential security flaws and workable fixes. Businesses will need to create procedures to safeguard their company resources, mission-critical data, and brand reputations.
Although it is obvious that hyperconnectivity is a 21st-century phenomenon, the motivation behind it–to exchange knowledge and build a community of like-minded individuals—is as old as humankind. However, there is both promise and difficulty in the fact that the resources available to satisfy that drive are now more comprehensive and broadly accessible than ever before.