When technology saves tradition

Technology is often seen as a threat to the old traditions and way of life in general.

When technology saves tradition

Technology is often seen as a threat to the old traditions and way of life in general. This criticism of technological advances is becoming a commonplace and many adopt this line of reasoning without even thinking or re-examining the main premise of the argument.

Older folks are particularly keen on criticising the youth over their use of technology and gadgets. Technology is seen as the main reason of the decreased popularity of traditional games like hide-and-seek, as children these days prefer playing on their smartphones and tablets.

 

If you look at the matter from that perspective, or you have been exposed to that opinion and line of reasoning, you will probably be surprised if we mention that technology might actually help us preserve and keep certain traditions. After all it is almost unequivocally accepted that technology is opposed to tradition. But that’s not entirely true, or to be more precise, it is not always true. In this particular instance, we are going to focus on the internet as one of the most notable technological discoveries or advances of the 21st century and its application in the process of preserving certain traditions.

 

Music

Thanks to the internet and the general trend of digitalisation, authors and music lovers are discovering, browsing and saving rare recordings. Volumes that would’ve otherwise been lost or limited to a few copies are now available to pretty much every person on the planet. You can gain access to rare recordings, tracks that originate from the opposite side of the world with a single click.

Back in the old days it was pretty difficult to obtain certain records and albums. For instance, let’s image a person from Peru who is interested in traditional Hungarian music. Now, it is difficult even to imagine such a situation in the days before the internet, simply because most Peruvians had no access to Hungarian music and many of them probably haven’t even heard what it sounds like. Nowadays, a quick YouTube search will give you access to every genre that you can think of.

But that’s just the practical implementation. So many rare recordings would’ve been irreversible lost if it weren’t for the option to digitalise them and save them on the cloud.

 

Writings

You have surely heard people complaining that today’s generations don’t read books as much as the older generations and the internet is usually pointed as the main culprit. While there might be some truth to that, if it weren’t for the digitalisation that was enabled by the advancement of computer technology and more specifically the internet, many writings would’ve been lost.

Libraries have digitalised and saved ancient manuscripts long before the age of the internet. But nowadays it is a lot easier to digitalise manuscripts in high quality and to store them. New software solutions even enable us to decipher and interpret writings that are unclear or unintelligible.

 

Games

We already mentioned that there is a prevalent opinion that technology and modern video gaming in general are a threat to conventional games and traditions. If there’s anything that you can take as a conclusion from this article is that you should always question and reconsider the public opinion.

Many people considered that bingo is a game of the past. The tradition of playing bingo was slowly dying out. When the first online bingo sites were launched, it was thought that online bingo wouldn’t be an adequate substitute for land-based bingo. But if you look at current industry statistics that are regularly published by the UK Gambling Commission and other regulatory bodies show that the number of people who play bingo games online is continuously growing.

 

Languages

You would often hear how the internet favours major languages, particularly English and how it poses a threat for other smaller languages. But as it is the case with rare music, the internet enables us to gather written resources and audio recordings in languages that are close to extinction. The opportunities to recruit new speakers of endangered languages might be a difficult mission, even though the internet might help with that as well, but more importantly, it can help us store resources for research purposes and further reference.

Also, the internet enables people who are part of a country’s diaspora to remain in touch with what is going on in the motherland and more importantly, to use the language more frequently, although virtually.   

Updated Date: 28 October 2019, 13:35

John Thunberbold

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