Friday, October 8, 2010

Don't be a Dino

Greetings Friends,

Sorry for the silence this week; life has a way of sometimes disrupting the act of blogging, but in the words of the immortal Mighty Mouse, "Here I come to save the day."

I've written before about evolving, and now more than ever, it's important not to ever take it for granted. My last entry about Tyler Clementi's suicide from apparent cyber-bullying had me thinking all week about the world we live in and how technology has impacted it. Like everything else, technology is subject to abuse. It doesn't matter if it's a mobile phone, a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account; if we don't safeguard the tools we need to make it through today's world, it will disintegrate before our very eyes.

In terms of free speech, where do we draw the line? Do random cell phone videos posted to YouTube or writing on someone's Facebook wall constitute an invasion of privacy? We know that filming someone without their knowledge is an invasion of privacy, but if you put yourself out there to be heard, for whatever reason, is it wrong for someone to tell you, "No, you can't say that?" Ultimately, it is the person holding the pen (or typing on the keyboard) who needs to take responsibility for what they choose to put out into the great electronic void. And, sometimes we make mistakes. I'll amend my Gadget Guardian post from a few months ago by saying, it's not just the gadgets we have to protect, we have to be mindful of the users - ourselves.

The Internet is a powerful tool; it can be an incredibly rich source of information, but it is also a dangerous weapon when used for malicious purposes. We have to find a balance between the good and the evil online, just as we do in life. But, at the same time, we cannot ignore the power of technology; if we do, we endanger ourselves to the point where we just might become extinct. Yes, like the dinosaurs. The key here is to strike a balance between the tried and true, old-fashioned ways of life we count on, and "Life 2.0". If you can manage to integrate change without scaring the hell out of yourself, you're way ahead of the game. It's not easy, but it must be done. Ignoring it is to your own detriment, and sadly, to the detriment of others.

I was on my way to extinction until about a year ago. I still consider myself to be on the "endangered species" list, but I've been trying like hell to evolve. embracing social media and blogging are two of the ways in which I am pressing forward. Have I goofed along the way? Hell, yes. And I will continue to goof; we all will. I manage to refrain from posting egregious self-involved commentary on Facebook, I don't indulge in superfluous Twittering, and I try to make my blog contributions as relevant as possible. Sometimes, I screw it up. I'm learning as I go, and it's bound to happen every so often. The thing is, I need to take others with me on this journey. But, if they are unwilling to go, they don't have the right to stop me. We are all fabulously flawed members of the human race, and that's what makes us so interesting. Sometimes, a little reinvention (or a lot), is necessary to avoid extinction. The dinosaurs were unable to do so, but fortunately, humans are luckier. We can adapt and keep moving forward. We must in order to ensure our survival. If not, it will be our bones in museums, there for all the species who come after us, who were fortunate enough to stay the course and ride out their evolution.

As I said when I first started this blog, this is a journey of reinvention. I'm not there yet, and I don't know if I'll ever get there. Periodically, I like to check the space left on my hard drive to see how much room I've got left. There's always lots of room. Room for everyone to join me.

Have a great weekend.


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