A few years ago, I would only dream about the scenario I had just gotten through. I think it's really enlightening when some of your idle 'what-ifs' would come true someday. And up to now, thanks to the miracle that is affordable wireless broadband Internet, I am able to get online and be part of the global community literally wherever I am within wireless signal strength. And in the country like the Philippines, that's practically *everywhere*.
I can't share a lot about what specifics happened that required me after having dinner with a handful of officemates to get online as soon as possible. But what I can share is that I didn't have to look for a single wired Internet connection to get online. In a matter of minutes, I was up -- the mobile person that I am -- and literally engaging a team of people both just a few kilometers away and half the world away. Everybody in the team was within reach of each others' fingertips, it's bone chilling to think how small the world has really become.
It doesn't stop there though. I have written about the SMART BRO Prepaid wireless broadband Internet over HSDPA/3G/EGDE/GPRS -- but I never thought how it would transform the way I thought about mobility and productivity. I'm literally lying in bed right now writing this blog entry -- and with the same means I can go anywhere I can get an HSDPA connection or 3G signal going and be as online as I am on my bed. It's amazing really to think that because of these new technologies, solving problems becomes easier, and you get to do more things almost wherever you are and at almost anytime you dare. A few years ago (think year 2000) this would not have been possible -- but look at where we are now and what the possibilities are.
With this thought, I really think getting this technology in the hands of more and more people will only enable more people to be more productive in the global scale. Think about the person in the province who would be able to get access to timely, relevant, and correct information regarding things like health care, the weather, technology, business, other people's lives, etc; about the student who could get access to the same books that the universities in first world countries have access to, the same technology Fortune 500 companies use, the same knowledge Ph.D. students and teachers have access to; about the communication between family and friends enabled by bridging the distance gap through technology...
What this technology enables us people in the third world to have is essentially an affordable way to get connected to the global arena that is the Internet. It really doesn't matter if it's for personal improvement, due to a job requirement, or just for fun. It puts us on a level playing field alongside everybody else in the world. Realizing this can change the way we think about progress and development. Leveraging it will be the key to our collective success.
So if you are ever going to invest your money in something, make it knowledge and technology. Yes, it's a cliche that knowledge is power -- but power is useless without leverage. You're only as effective as the tools you use and as productive as your imagination and capabilities allow you to be. Once you start equipping yourself with the knowledge and power that comes with this knowledge, leverage it with technology to reach out to the world and be part of the global connection.
A few thousand pesos for a device that allows you for a few extra pesos to get online and get access to information and communicate with the world? Think of what you can learn, and what you can do, and what you can produce not just for you but for everybody else. Think of the possibilities then start doing something.
I don't remember where I read it, but truly the Internet is the world's great big equalizer. And getting on the Internet while you're anywhere? Then that makes it simply amazing.