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A Visible Impact Of Mobile Internet On Ground Level

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Here on this platform we have discussed many times about how technology is impacting various parts of our lives and how it is growing in itself to become a huge industry. We have also discussed how the internet users are growing by the day and the broadband speeds are improving while getting more affordable at the same time. More than once I have mentioned that this growth is being accelerated by the mobile space with 3G gaining faster momentum than any traditional internet source (like dongles or broadband).

All this is based on data. We see the raw numbers and we derive our conclusions. Yesterday though, I had the opportunity to observe this in a live environment and for the first time I was amazed as to how much actual impact mobile internet is having in India.

I was working with an NGO Parichay, where underprivileged children are taught so that they can gain knowledge, as well as implement what they have learnt. Among other things we were teaching them how to use MS Powerpoint. Now, they have used the laptops before a couple of times, so they knew their way around. However, it was still a new thing for them and we were guiding them along.

Parichay NGO

[Source: Parichay]

There were two observations that I want to share .

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1. None of them knew how to use a template. This did not mean that there slides were bland. They just used the “fill” option to color their slides. The colors were pleasing and the presentations looked great. This is something I have never done. Probably because I have always used templates on slides. I was impressed to see that the kids were able to get what they want just by tinkering around.

2. The second thing that I observed made me write this post. While most of them felt awkward using the computer with accidently opening a program or copying something too many times, as soon as the browser opened they were all comfortable in searching for the images they wanted or the data they needed.

When asked how they were comfortable with internet but not with computer all of them said in unison that they have used internet on mobiles.

Of course, now mobile internet is available at less than Rs. 100 (for GPRS) and a phone that can use that internet is available at less than Rs. 2000. Remember, all these kids were from not-well-to-do families and yet there they were very much at home, when using a browser. All because they had done it many times before on their mobile phones.

We are all aware of the impact that internet can have on people. It was a great experience to see this actually happening at the ground level.

Have you had an experience of this kind? Please share with us.

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