What Have I Learned?

Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten on the internet.

Social media is here.  It is a part of our daily lives.

In this blog: what have I found most surprising so far this semester in my Social Media class? What have I learned in class that most changed my thinking or my way of working?

We are in the infancy of the digital age, at the beginning of a transformation that has already changed the way we do business.  Being one of the older “kids” in the class, I have witnessed this transformation.  When I was a senior at Providence College, I was still cranking out papers on a word processor (I bet half of my class does not know what white-out is).  As a 2nd Lt. in the Army, I still had to write awards on typewriters.

Two things that have opened my eyes since starting this class seven weeks ago:

1. What the future looks like for the Internet, Social Media, Social Networking.  I am in awe of what can be developed to help us make our lives easier.  However, for the first time, I am scared of what the trade-off is.  By succumbing to sites that feed off of our personal information to make our experiences on those sites better, do I  write “free checks” giving up my personal identity?

2. The Internet is an open, global community.  It lies in the hands of its millions of users.  As with Blogger, that allowed anyone to become a journalist and publisher, people are now building everything on their ownThe mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.    With new technologies and social structures, users will continue to work together to find answers, participate in solutions.

Those are the big picture things.  The smaller things — how I work — has changed with daily doses of Google Reader, Firefox, and the sites and Twitter feeds I follow.

I’ve learned to embrace the new technologies, but I still hold close that nothing beats a real conversation, nothing beats the great outdoors.  Do not take today’s technology for granted.  “We are the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots.”

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