Easy: it digitized everything – which made everything the same, as far as it was concerned. A stream of data bytes can represent anything. This homogenization of information made the homogenization of social organizations relatively easy. The result is power on a scale never before seen – but nearly impossible for us to detect – because it is all-pervasive.
Does this mean that everything is the same? Of course not, basic reality has not changed, but human reality – which has adapted itself to computer reality, has changed fundamentally.
I am sure you have objected “Not me, I am not a computer! I am just the same as I have always been.” I am sure you are well-meaning – but you are wrong. You are not the person you were yesterday – let alone what you were in your childhood. The world of our childhoods was so different from our present world, they might as well have existed in another planet.
Do a thought-experiment: magically transport the person you were – as a child, an adolescent, or even a young adult – into the world you now occupy as a senior citizen. That person from a previous life would not be able to comprehend what is going on now. Nothing would make any sense. His world had raced into to the future at such a speed, he would be in complete future-shock.
“Yes,”, you will say. “But we did not get here instantly, we had 50 years, or so, to get used to it.” True, but ask yourself another question: “Was life better for you then, or now?” This will require some thinking, no doubt some things have improved, and some have not. I am asking for an overall reply. And I am confident of your answer – the same answer old folks have been giving for some time: the old times were better – no doubt about it.
We now have many new things, but a poorer quality of life. And that is what really matters. TV, Computers, and the Internet, have made the powerful more powerful, but left the rest of us holding the bag.