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The 4-IR, intellectuals, and social media

Intellectuals and their activities in seminars and conferences need to be considered.  Their decision by the end of such activities also need to be executed. In fact, they are neither considered nor executed very quickly by the policy makers. People shouting in social media tend to be different. Their ideas always get quick attention. The fourth industrial revolution (4-IR) and the effect on lives is real and factual. It is urgent.  Again, social media is more powerful than the intellectual activities.
    
The intellectuals in universities have discussed the topic about the fourth Industrial revolution (the 4-IR). It can be either informal or formal discussions. The informal discussions—e.g., in social media— tends to be less conceptual. But, it is influential. On the contrary, the formal discussion is different. Many of them have ended with no decision.  If they get a conclusion, the concept has never been executed. That is the result of formal discussion.
    
However, when we observe social media like tweeter, Facebook, Instagram, and the like, it looks different. More interestingly, the tweeter in Indonesian and America is influential. The effect of this social media on the organization and government policies tend to be more powerful. In the USA, the president always tweets his aspiration. The effect is not only on the national scale issue but even on the international issues (Dahlan Iskan, July 2, 20019), today.
    
He said that the USA president could meet the president of North Korea because of the tweeter communication.  Yet, tweeter is just a social media that ordinary people can have and operate. In Indonesia, recently, all the internet connections for all social media had been “intervened.”  During the intervention, all the account users got trouble. I myself also couldn’t operate my social media accounts for some time during that intervention.
    
The phenomenon above shows that social media and their interactions are much paid attention by the government or policy makers. They feel “disturbed” when the social media users shout and express their intention. Now, compare with the results of the intellectuals’ discussion. The participants—after finishing the conferences or seminars— go home without any follow up. 
    
I used to be very active in operating my tweeter. But, now I get lazy to do it. I am now active in using Facebook. Many of my friends are fond of using Facebook. More specially, all my friends from the Philippines. In Indonesia, Facebook is also famous. The number of the users is also so big. In many cases, this social media account is good:  Not only for friendship but also for expressing ideas. 
    
If the tweeter and Facebook are more influential than seminars and conferences, we have to ask ourselves why? Is it because of the digital society and do we have to be the member of it? Or, should we ignore seminars or conferences? Controls and balances— for the organizations or government policies in some cases—tend to be done by social media. It is really amusing.
    
So, the 4-IR and its consequences need not only discussion but also implementation. Policy makers should drag their attention not only to the social media but also what the intellectuals express. They are busy with conferences and seminars. The topics discussed are based on research. The research is done based on arguments with high accountability. But, again, social media has penetrated the conferences and seminars’ results of discussion.—in terms of getting attention. 
    
It is real and factual when we consider the effect of the 4-IR on our lives. Education system, government policies, and some other lower policies need to adapt to this era: the 4-IR. I did an interview on my 25 students recently about the 4-IR and the effects on their future. Some said that they may not be ready yet. Some said they are still confused. They argued that they can get the job when their universities provide them with the analytical skills. They also expect to get the skills that cannot be replaced by machines.
    
So, the 4-Ir and the effects on human lives is real and factual.  The millennial generations know it. The seminars and conferences are done in many times and everywhere. We have to assure whether the results of the discussion are paid attention. Otherwise, the ideas will vanish without any follow ups. It is a matter of the policy makers and their attention to the intellectuals.
    
Dr. Djuwari is the Director of Language Laboratory, STIE Perbanas Surabaya. The advisor of Indonesia Association of Press Practitioners/ Journalists in East Java province (HIPSI), Indonesia. He is also the president of the International Association of Scholarly Publishers, Editors, and Reviewers (IASPER).

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