[Model Answer QP2020 GS4 Ethics] “The current internet expansion has instilled a different set of cultural values which are often in conflict with traditional values.’ Discuss.

The widespread use of the internet has indeed brought about significant changes in cultural values, not just in India but around the world. These changes can sometimes conflict with traditional values, causing tension and necessitating adaptations.
Instilling a different set of cultural values
Individualism vs Collectivism: The internet, by providing a platform for personal expression and emphasizing individual voices, often promotes individualism. This can contrast with the traditionally collectivist culture in India, where family and community often take precedence over the individual. Ex: Youth becoming more confined to digital interactions over social interactions.

Freedom of Expression vs Respect for Authority: Online platforms encourage freedom of expression and dialogue, allowing users to challenge established norms and authorities. In contrast, many traditional Indian values emphasize respect for elders and authority figures and discourage questioning of established norms.

Globalization vs Local Cultures: The internet exposes users to a diverse range of cultures and ideas from around the world. While this can broaden horizons and foster understanding, it can also lead to a dilution or even erosion of local cultures and traditions. For instance, adopting Use and throw culture over conservation culture.

Privacy: Traditional Indian culture often involves close-knit families and communities with a shared sense of responsibility. Privacy has taken a back seat as digital presence is taken high priority among the individuals.

Gender Roles: The internet provides a platform where traditional gender roles can be questioned and new perspectives can be explored. This has the potential to challenge entrenched patriarchal norms in many Indian societies.

Consumerism: The internet, particularly through social media and online advertising, often promotes consumerism. This focus on material wealth and consumption can conflict with traditional Indian values of simplicity, modesty, and spirituality.
While these cultural shifts can cause conflicts, they also provide opportunities for progress and transformation. It’s crucial to navigate this changing landscape in a way that respects both traditional values and the potential benefits of the internet age.

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