Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Google”

The World in Your Pocket

BrickphoneSmartphones have changed how we live our lives. I think it is amazing that in my lifetime so many things have changed,  but this is a historical time when smartphones/cell phones have really made a permanent impact on my family.

The camera inside alone, sitting in everyone’s pocket allows very little of life’s imperfections to pass by. Now every mistake, every victory, every catastrophe, every violent act, every special moment can be recorded and broadcast out into the world-wide web to be permanently entered in the cyber record.  It is “instant”. Since there are so many cameras in so many pockets, and every person can choose where to point it- even the subject matter can be managed by our individual point of view.

Things off the top of mind:

  • You are never alone (if you chose to be). “Social” has a much different meaning today. Not only text, but  real-time pictures and videos change your perception of how you are connected to humans in your family to around the world in places you’d only read about.
  • You have access to what seems like infinite information. Like I have  blogged before the friendly argument on a bar-stool at the local pub has changed forever. Just Google it. Share your opinion, it could be news in an hour.
  • You have access to hundred of thousands of books (probably millions). It is like having the entire library in your pocket. Summon (and pay for it) and you are ready to read things that may have been lost in the back-stacks at your city library.
  • You have entertainment where ever you want it; those long waits in line, those down-times when you are just looking for something to keep your mind going. Movies, music, even art are at your finger tips.
  • There’s a new definition of “getting lost”. It may mean that your Google Maps or navigation application may not be working correctly. Or that your battery has died I suppose. But stop and ask for directions? Hmmm.

That is just a start. I couldn’t have imagined as a child that every one would have their own phone numbers, their own built-in answering machine. That you could make long distance calls with a phone in your pocket without thinking about the “long distance” charges. That you could conference friends and family together and perhaps even see their expressions – from something that you would be holding in your hand. Virtually anywhere.

So I marvel at the idea of where my children will access the world when they are my age.

Decades from now there will be something our children cannot fathom, but I wonder what it is?

Today, they see the technology advances as a matter-of-fact. It will happen and it will evolve. What will be their marvel?


Okay… New Rule

ChangeThere was a time when it was easy to know all the rules. There was the golden rule, the simple rules that made up the rules of “etiquette” that Miss Manners would teach us. They were a guide to how to react, how to look at things. How to make sure that others felt comfortable with you and who/what you were.

But these days no rules seem to be the rule. The more you can shock someone, the more you can be out of the normal trend of things – the more people may notice you. And it may not be because you did something good, it may be quite the opposite. Be shocking enough or do something that will make people be “aghast” with the way you did it. In popular culture that means you will get noticed, you will be part of the buzz or covered on TMZ or tabloid shows on television. You will show up on some magazine as the “newest” thing.

In these days it seems that  it means it has to be notched up. In order to get attention above the normal for this week, one needs to be out-of-bounds even farther than those before us. Of course to make it all work you have to add the Internet. Just do it on YouTube and have it be viral and you will be a star for next week.

It’s like being “change junkies”, even our youth here in the US are thriving on the difference. That seems to have always been the thing…but the notches have turned up higher than before. The shear out-of-bounds rules of the 50’s when kids came to school with blue-jeans on (dungarees) and people were struggling with hair cuts and music. The rules were also changing then for the youth. Now they have become so much more accelerated don’t you think?  How can our youth out-do the popular culture which is coming at us all 24/4 on any URL you wish to Google.

So we end up heading toward the potential for a more complicated life. Like working hard to keep track of the “new-rules.”  If we are going to be sure we are aware of them, it could prove to be not so simple. All of the media around us and our children’s peer groups screaming it.

My advice to my kids: Be aware of the new rules, but keep it simple. That is going to be my motto too. Just take it one day at a time, understand that you don’t have to make things be bigger, louder, meaner, faster, or on the fringe. Take care to understand the rules will change, and change is good… but don’t let those rules rule you. You can stay in control of things with the simple rules and let that drive your spirit with the power and grace.

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