Understanding the power and responsibility of the internet
Some people think the internet can solve all our problems. The internet has the potential to be used as a powerful tool for positive change.
Some people think the internet is the cause of all the problems in our modern society. The internet can be used as a tool for spreading negative themes.
The internet is a collection of wires, silicon, and copper, it has no soul, it has no mind of its own. The internet doesn't take sides, it gives birth to both good and evil.
The internet is our collective mind, it is our collective soul. The internet is just a mirror, a reflection of the people who use it, and together we have the responsibility to focus and form that reflection.
If you don't like what you see when you look into a mirror, what do you do? Some people break the mirror, others change what's being reflected.
But what is this power?
Technology is just a set of tools in a toolbox. Simple tools in the hands of a craftsman can lead to great results. Great tools in the hands of someone who does not know how to use them, does not guarantee any results.
Success is not measured by using all the tools in the box. Success is about working smarter, and using the tools that work the best for you to their fullest.
Tools perform tasks. Tasks lead to outcomes. Focus not on the tools that you use, but the outcome you desire.
If you were asking someone to build a house, would you ask questions on hammers and saws? Or would you discuss what you wanted the house to look like?
Whether we integrating technology into our classrooms, or our office space, the biggest mistake people make is figuring out which tools to buy, before they have a plan for what tasks they wish to accomplish.
When using the internet, in business, and education. many people have created some myth that the using technology is the most important piece of the puzzle. We need to buy more technology, we need to have more technology in use. We need to use the internet more.
It is NOT a "technology thing."
When you give a small child a crayon, it is not seen as a crayon thing, it is seen as a tool to express themselves.
When you give a grade school child a pencil, it is not seen as a pencil thing, it s seen as a tool to communicate.
"The power" is a communications thing! The power of the internet is that of a tremendous set of tools to communicate.
Many people say the internet is the greatest invention since the printing press. Before the internet people read books. Books, words on paper, published ideas, were the basis of mass communications for many centuries prior to 20th century technology.
Electronic mail launched a new way of communicating when the internet went commercial in the 1990s. Unlike traditional voice communications, with electronic mail you can have a conversation with someone without the need to have both parties online at the same time. Improving upon traditional mail using the postal service, delivering a message now takes minutes instead of days.
The concept of collaboration added a tool box to the basic email applications, with the addition of products such as calendaring, instant messanging, wiki, and bookmarking for use in creating virtual work groups in business.
Social networking outside the workplace expanded with a variety of online services giving us new ways to share ideas and meet people. The term social networking took on new meaning as large world wide online communities developed thanks to sites like Twitter and Facebook.
You now have the Power to reach people who think like you, that you never would have dreamed of. You now have the power to tell people about your products and services in places you never would have thought of.
"The power" is a tremendous communications tool that can help you to control time and space, as you get in touch with people you have lost contact with from thirty years ago, in countries all over the globe.
"The power" is the ability to get a message out quickly and efficiently, as you can reach hundreds, thousands, even millions of people, in just a matter of seconds. You will be able to get your message out, in ways that were not humanly possible not all that long ago.
The responsibility to use it wisely
Once you understand the power of the internet, part of your responsibility is to dispel the myths
Dispel the myth that technology makes you smarter! One of the biggest myths about computers is that they make you smarter. Computers do not make you smarter, but they allow you to work faster and more efficiently. You are just as smart as you always were, but you are now a thousand times faster. When you screw up, you can do it more efficiently.
Dispel the the myth that the internet holds all the answers! Do you think you can find all the answers to life's mysteries, as well as great advice for every problem you have by asking a search engine? We discuss the myths and legends created by the internet in various sections of the Guru42 Universe. There are many examples of the internet not simply recording history, but instead creating history. Many myths and legends get repeated on the internet, and in the artificial and virtual minds of the search engines a legend becomes a fact.
Dispel the myth that the Internet is evil! The sentiment that the intenet is evil, goes back to understanding the source of the power. Too often the focus is on buzzwords and fancy tools, and what they produce, rather than focus on the person using the tool. The internet does not make people evil, but there are many evil people on the internet.
The internet is a reflection of the people who use it and together we have the responsibility to focus and form that reflection.
"The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate." - Douglas Engelbart, inventor, computer visionary
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