Rising incomes in populous Southeast Asian countries plus plunging smartphone prices have created an Internet boom. It is estimated that there will be 190 million smartphone users in Southeast Asia by end of 2015. By the end of 2019, that number will be over 340 million! In my country of Indonesia we have the most mobile Facebook users in the world and the capital capital city, Jakarta, has more active Twitter users than any other city in the world.
This digital advancement affects the public, including citizens’ relationship with and communication with government. In Indonesia, you can tweet directly to the governor and, even if it’s an angry tweet, you’re sure to get reply or a retweet. The public also uses online petitions like Change.org to spread awareness or even force government to shift positions on policies. We’ve even found that using apps and crowdsourcing can help crackdown corruption in the government.