and people they like”
and people they like”
I’ve been online over 20 years (not constantly! there was a lunch break or two) and I don’t want to go back to the “good olde days”.
What’s not to love about being online, chatting and sharing and keeping in the loop. We like finding out answers to niggling questions instantly and with seemingly little effort. We enjoy playing games, downloading music, streaming a film. It’s never been easier to not miss out.
Now I’m going to spoil that mild reverie with a timely reminder that the cybersphere isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. Like all good things there’s another side and I’m opening that can of worms for just a moment.
To list a few there is:
– the debate about the Internet’s overall effect on learning and understanding – see Nicholas Carr – “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
– the growing phenomena of “moral disengagement” – people becoming online bullies as they feel safe hiding behind a computer screen (anonymity) – the more distance someone has from the consequences of their actions the easier it is for them not to care
– governments shutting down libraries across the world because everyone can get what they need online – Really!!?
– Wikileaks – who has the right to know what, how much, when….
– Google’s massive Library digitisation project – who should store all this information, who has access, what are the restrictions?
– Copyright issues
Privacy issues – is our concept of privacy changing and does it make a difference? Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook doesn’t think privacy matters anymore. Again – Really!!?
A few points to ponder on.
Not that I’m going to delete my online existence and go off-grid. But if you’re serious you could permanently delete your account on a number of popular websites. A tad extreme but always an option.
This is the first of a series of blogs I intend to write on what you (some of you) are doing wrong and plead with you to STOP IT!!!!!!
What are my credentials?:
I’m striving to make the Internet a better place for humans.
This first article is directed at your website
2. Really, really, really big files that take forever to load – Bored now, leaving……. Speed matter check it here
3. Ads! So many of them. Buy this! Go here! My book! My awesome seminar! Get updates email to you here! – You sound so needy. Self esteem issues perhaps?
4. Things that move, things that swirl, things that blink, things that have a life of their own. Do you remember the helpful, jiggling paper clip on Microsoft Office, who popped up every 30 seconds? Did you note the PAST tense!
5. Overzealous claims. Subscribe to this blog and you will lose 50 pounds! Don’t believe you already. Don’t undermine your credibility from the start.
6. Don’t leave in dead links. We can’t find you and won’t make the effort.
7. A colour scheme that matches the grout in my bathroom. Beige is beige not biscuit, or fawn or stone, and a rainbow banner won’t make you interesting.
Here I’ll do that again
Hope this helps. I do mean well. Well, at least I mean something.
Thank you for reading.
I’ve spent a great deal of time in the last few months on the Internet. Probably (not probably, very actually) too much time. Strolling, trolling, sifting, sorting and a whole lot of meandering has been taking place.
These wanderings haven’t been completely aimless as there is a point. As a reformed librarian (read that as Information Goddess) I’m extremely interested in: 1. what sort of information other people are interested in and why, and 2. how to use the Internet and its tools (eg social media, the Cloud, online resources etc) more effectively. So, see it’s work! Indeed my curiosity and, therefore my business, depends on my ability to sift through the “stuff” to find out what people need to know (very different from want, that’s a another chapter).
And there is A LOT of stuff in the ether. There’s a lot of clever, gorgeous, mind-blowing stuff, quite a bit of mundane yet useful stuff, and vast waste lands of “OMG why did they bother???!!!” stuff.
Sadly percentage wise, 86.4% (how to lie with statistics – that’s a fictitious stat, but I’m sure the number is high), of the visible Net is “OMG What were they thinking!”. Like with driving, you feel there should be a test to pass before people are allowed to upload to the Internet. Really, there are some treasures out there (and some that should be buried!)
I expect we are supposed to be egalitarian about the Internet, so anyone can come to play. But I, for one, don’t have to pay attention.
Which comes nicely to the point of this blog (yes I have very long introductions). The Internet is wonderful and exciting but also not. I think its a brilliant platform for many people, organisations and assorted humanity but for many more it’s just another empty space to fill up. Like a loft.
I’ll continue to spend too much time on the Internet, but feel (for me anyway) that I need to get away from the “empty space” sometimes, and even the mind-blowing stuff en masse, can lose their WOW factor due to over indulgence.
I’m going to spend more quality time with some of my favourite carbon based life forms (e.g. family, friend, colleagues, friends’ pets). Or, get this, a book!
I’m going to instigate digital free days. As I’m self employed this has to be feasible so it’s not a total ban.
My new rules for DF day:
At least one day a week, I pledge;
– not to use the Internet,
– to keep the computers turned off and not to sneaking off to a friend’s to use their’s
– my antique mobile phone will still be checked for messages but not on all day
– no Twitter (not even scheduled messages)
– no blogging here or on Tumblr (but I can make handwritten notes :-))
– radio is OK, CD collection is better, no TV
*Caveat – If someone else has an emergency that I have to deal with, then all rules can be broken.
Wish me luck.