The State of Our Digital Nation

We may have iPhones, Tesla vehicles, Mobile Data Coverage, TikTokers and people swiping credit cards in sweatpants at Starbucks, but Trinidad is still far from being considered a technologically advanced nation. Not even by a long stretch.

We may host numerous technology events about adopting digital but nothing truly changes. Companies adopt a digital-first behaviour and mentality, however, they still do many tasks the analogue way, unfortunately. We won’t get into the “older heads” in higher positions still wanting emails to be printed.

Foreign brands may show their interest from time to time in our nation’s technological culture and landscape, with a few investments here and there, a buzz now and again, and we rightfully pat our backs when they do but ultimately we’re still heavily dependent on them.

Our Digital Culture and Data

Our digital culture is almost a mirror of our colonial times. The digital platforms we heavily depend on daily are foreign-based and we’ve allowed them to penetrate our culture unchecked; only this time we’ve willfully allowed it and will continue to need it in the near future.

All our sensitive data is locked away in foreign nations with no local power having any way to access them should they decide to do so. What if these platforms decide to pull the plug on us, what is our fallback plan? We have no independence.

That’s not to say we don’t have brilliant minds in our country; of those great minds only a few who’ve decided to “jump ship”, perform better and are rewarded rightfully, only when they’ve “gone foreign”, which is probably why so many do.

Innovation. What Innovation?

The state of the nation doesn’t foster those minds to do great as we’ve seen in other foreign countries. There’s no culture of innovation in our country. Merely copy and paste business models and practices seen elsewhere.

A brilliant mind trying to innovate in Trinidad is the equivalent of a Bugatti Veyron x-to-board while jacked up. It may look powerful, and sound loud, but goes nowhere and only wastes gas.

Our Digital State

We may try our very best to believe we’re first-world in some aspects, we’re looking at you sweatpants Starbucks people, but we’re still a developing digital nation. Luckily we do have lines painted on our roadways, well most of it at least, but it’s not hard to look around and see the reality once we’ve lowered our heads down from the clouds or looked up from our phones.

Yes, we’ve moved somewhat forward in some aspects digitally; we do love to throw expensive and large events for small progress, which gives the illusion that we’re taking big leaps, however after all the cake and ice cream is over, in reality, we’ve only installed one sink in an unfinished building, with a whole city left to build.

This brings us to the point of TriniPixel. We have a very long way to go before we can consider ourselves a sort of digitally advanced nation.

I believe the way forward out of our third-world mentality and practices is digital. It’s a long tiresome road ahead, but we’ll get there. We could get there sooner than later, however, a lot is still being stifled by the older heads who have the power to dictate it and don’t allow progress. Maybe because they can’t figure out how to profit from it or collect their cut as most of them do, or they simply don’t value its importance or potential impact.

We cannot deny our current laughable state as we see so many nations sprinting ahead on the technology front, and until we admit where we are, we’ll never move forward realistically. Because dreams can only carry us so far; hard, groundwork is what’s needed to carry us out of this slum digital landscape that is Trinidad and Tobago.

Born and raised in the beautiful twin island of Trinidad & Tobago, I feel the need to make a positive difference and help our people become more digitally educated.

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