Digital technology and the 2022 national elections

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As we approach the national and local elections in May, it is important to stress that our country seems truly prepared to meet the unique demands of hosting an event of such magnitude in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. Digital technology will once again play a key role in providing opportunities and breakthroughs for this momentous political exercise to succeed.

Milo Sandig, Managing Director of Digitalinnov Marketing, fully understands the importance of cutting-edge technology to deliver what seems almost impossible in times of global health crisis.

Milo Sandig, Managing Director of Digitalinnov Marketing CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“Digital technology is at an all-time high as more and more screen time is saved for every Filipino,” Sandig said during a brief discussion of this year’s election. “And as new variations emerge, we’d expect less face-to-face interactions and more people resorting to digital alternatives to get their entertainment across as well as their messages.”

Omicron’s push may have sparked fears that long-awaited national polls may be on hold. Nevertheless, the level of technological advancement that we know today has enabled our country to face this threat. A different thing about a 21st century pandemic is that we now have the technology to embrace a new normal way of life, including exercising a basic political right.

In the most recent elections, social media has become a powerful tool for influencing voters. Whether it’s convincing those among the candidates who are most qualified to get elected or spreading misinformation in an attempt to abuse the power of interconnectedness, the long-term vision is that the revolutionary digital platform could actually make or break a society. It all comes down to the electorate whether they will allow social media to dictate their thinking.

Part businessman, part innovator, Sandig sees that the right way to deal with a world that has gone digital is to know its potential both ways. The chief executive said: “Social media works both ways. From what I have observed in recent years, digital technology has led to more people falling victim to misleading information. Yet we cannot nor discredit the fact that there are people who have become better informed by having readily available information at their fingertips.”

The most glaring challenge is for those who have failed to grasp the impact of rapidly changing technology and fail to adapt to new ways of doing things. They insist on requiring everyone to stick to the old practice. In a massive post-pandemic exercise, there is no choice but to face the challenges of digital technology.

Sandig concluded, “Unlike their predecessors, younger generations these days rarely turn to traditional media. They get their information from social media and engage in online forums and groups where they feel like they belong.

“If future leaders don’t prioritize the digital medium where more people can be reached and communicated, then there will be a strong disconnect in the delivery of their messages.”

It would be a far greater tragedy in our collective hope for fair and honest elections. Technology, in this context, is also our saving grace.

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