Last year in July 2018, Egypt tried to regulate social media users. This regulation was induced by so many social media users with their false news (BBC News/July/17/2018). All these could be predicted to lead the country into chaos again. It was reported that many activists—as the opponents— were arrested. Thousands of people have been detained since 2013. How about Indonesia and the Philippines?
In my country, Indonesia, the political atmosphere is getting hot and hot. It is nearing the presidential election in April this year. Yet, the hoax news comes up again and again. Almost every day, people get fed up with all these types of news exposures. People are in diversity in terms of their intelligence.
Education in some cases can be the panacea of such phenomenon. By having good knowledge, people can be aware of anything. They can analyze the written texts or oral video news well. They will not get trapped by the misleading news. By having enough education, people can be easily managed.
Unfortunately, not all of the people in a developing country have got enough education. Mostly, they are easily trapped by such hoax news. They comment so badly on everything they see on the media: social media. This is the millennial type of generation. They get literate with technology. They can use it for their own purposes. But, they get easily trapped.
A very long time ago, Alvin Toffler, in 1970-1980, had reminded of such phenomenon. This futurist predicted that there would be chaos due to the era of information. Any nation being unprepared with the technology advancement will be the victims. They can use technology but without basic knowledge how to use it properly. In other words, they don’t have the basis of good knowledge.
In overcoming the phenomenon above, political will by the government must be the key. It is the key to transform the people by giving a good education. Being good means that the people should be provided with the opportunity to grab high-quality education level. This level is that of the strategy making them knowledgeable.
In the ASEAN region, the Philippines and Indonesia look similar. But, the Philippines is much luckier because the people are exposed to the English language as a means of communication besides the regional languages. In Indonesia, we have only the national language—Indonesian— as the lingua franca. This language is used as a formal language for communication. Mostly, the people are exposed to regional language all the time.
In that condition, the way to get literate to technology and other fields of sciences may hinder the Indonesian people to speed up getting knowledge. Compared to the Filipinos, Indonesian people are less exposed to English. Yet, in the Philippines, the people almost can speak English. They can speak and read the information exposed in English internationally.
Apart from the differences in English language mastery, both Indonesia and Philippines look similar. The nature, the people, and the type of country: the developing countries. In such an atmosphere, political will by the government should be focused on giving quality education to the people. With a good quality education, the people get literate to technology.
They can also be literate to any texts and news they are exposed to. They are able to distinguish which are hoaxes and those of the really good news. So far, people have been provoked by the hoax news. They tend to be disintegrated. They get both angry and annoyed.
The presidential election happens to be both in Indonesia and the Philippines. We can also see many hoax news scattering on the media. They mostly provide the emotion-provoking information. They talk about the bad sides of their opponents so freely: the absence of humanity side.
To solve such a problem, the government should provide people with a good quality education. The curriculum in any level of education should be related to information technology (IT) literacy. This is—more importantly—equipped with moral education. Technology without being backed up with moral values will lead the nation into jeopardy. That is what Alvin Toffler reminded of having chaos when the nation is not ready yet with the era of information.