The daily growing transformation of the digital age has unwittingly led to a significant acceleration in technology and information in Indonesia as well.
Human attachment to technology provides several types of easy access through the use of the Internet.
This phenomenon is then known as the Internet of Things Age, which means that during this time all kinds of activities that are carried out are always connected to the Internet, from studying to working to online shopping.
As the country with the fourth largest population in the world, Indonesia naturally has opportunities and challenges to face this era of the Internet of Things.
It was found that in March 2021, based on data from internetworldstats.com, Indonesian internet users ranked third largest in Asia after China and India, with the number of internet users reaching 212.35 million.
That’s an incredible number, isn’t it? Most internet users in Indonesia are currently dominated by Millennials and Generation Z.
However, there are a few things that we must face in this regard, from the spread of disinformation or hoax to people becoming too dependent on the internet, which is causing the quality of human resources in Indonesia to deteriorate.
Especially now, when society is confronted not only with the Industrial Revolution 4.0, but also with the era of Society 5.0. We as students, part of the younger generation of Indonesia, play an important role in playing an active role in creating a balance in this era of digital supremacy, especially in preparing for the realization of a Golden Indonesia in 2045.
There are at least three current challenges we must face, including the abundance of young people, a digital economy, and the trend towards intolerance and radicalism.
It is undeniable that Indonesia will experience a demographic bonus as it ages productively in the next few years. Based on the results of the Central Statistics Agency’s 2020 Indonesian Population Census, it is found that up to 70% of the total population of Indonesia live in the productive age (15-64 years) and are dominated by the generation of Millennials Gen Z.
Both generations are at the forefront when it comes to mastering technology and information.
In addition, with the advent of various digital based businesses and finances, traffic for the development of the digital economy is getting busier by relying on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate buying and selling.
When humans are not endowed with more skills, human power is increasingly being replaced by technology.
The next challenge is the ever increasing trend towards intolerance and radicalism due to the ever faster flow of information in the community.
The level of public education is still low, so that the higher information intake simply takes place without filtering, so that misunderstandings often arise, which lead to intolerance and radicalism.
So how do we as students become an important part of technological development?
This challenge must then be answered by increasing competence, especially in the mastery of computer technology, communication skills, the ability to work together and the ability to learn and adapt to environmental changes (Harahap, 2018).
The role of students can be realized by being practiced in the tri dharma of higher education, namely as educators and lecturers, research and development, and community service.
As educators and teachers, students play a role in providing education and support to the community to create superior and creatively competitive human resources as human beings no longer compete with other people but also with technology.
In research and development, students are responsible for finding solutions and opportunities for the technological age, especially for people of the lower middle class.
Students as agents of change must then play an active role directly in the community, providing service to productively and innovatively change the consumptive thinking or the way the community thinks.
In addition, students also need to increase literacy levels so that people are more selective in receiving all the information.
Ultimately, society still needs the role of students in order to maintain stability and productivity in this digital age.
Here, the role of the students is not limited to those familiar with and users of easy access today, but also ensures a social change in society as a reaction to technological and information developments. Let’s be part of the change together to make the Golden Indonesia a reality in 2045.
Author: Puloh (Sahid Bogor Institute of Islamic Religion) – Participant in PTKI II National Education and Training Center in Indonesia in 2021
Harahap, New Jersey (2019). Students and the industrial revolution 4.0. ECOBISMA (Journal of Economics, Business and Management), 6 (1), 70-78.
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