I have seen quite a few people as of late decide to take a break from social media for 30 days or some other relatively random span of time. Part of me wonders why they are doing it. Another part of me envies them for doing it while yet another part of me wonders why I even care that they are doing it. Let’s take a look at each reaction I had in greater detail. [Read more...]
In case you haven’t noticed, it appears that the Internet is not the only place where privacy is a great idea but an apparently unobtainable reality. In the latest installment of “Government Gone Wild” we find that the Feds have been monitoring every call on the Verizon network since a top secret order (well, not so secret now thanks to the Brits at The Guardian) was issued in April. No matter which side of the political aisle you find yourself this should send serious shivers down your spine. [Read more...]
A lot of what we discuss in the online space surrounds the idea of building, maintaining, and, ultimately, protecting our online reputation. The same basic principles apply for both the individual and the brand. Whether we want to admit or not we ALL have some kind of online reputation to uphold. It might be a small business owner with his/her name attached to a company. It could be on someone as public-facing as a world-renowned athlete or someone who might be locally famous (or infamous for that matter) like a politician, pastor, teacher, mayor, etc. No matter the situation or the place the reputation of a person is very fragile and it can be destroyed at any time. Or can it? If you are even a modest follower of things political, there is a name that should at least ring an online reputation disaster bell in your head. The name is Anthony Weiner. Weiner is the once-disgraced congressman from New York who turned his Twitter account into a social media Weinerland both literally and figuratively. He committed a social faux pas so egregious that one had to wonder if he would ever be able to show his face in public again. [Read more...]
Listening is hard even when there are no distractions. Since there is nowhere on the planet where there are no distractions anymore (or so it seems, at least), the art of listening has been disabled at best and often crippled or even destroyed in the worst environments. Whether you are face-to-face, monitor-to-monitor, or screen-to-screen, truly hearing what another is saying is a rare occurrence at best. And then comes the best part: we wonder why everything doesn’t work well. More troubling is that we won’t listen to the solution to this problem, which is to listen to everything better.
Sounds a bit overdone or convoluted? That’s OK. It’s hard to listen or understand much of anything today. And guess what? If Google has it their way listening will become a thing of the past. Now, Google doesn’t always get its way, but they do more than most.
Huh, you ask? How can that happen and how is that a good thing? Well, it can happen (to some degree) and if it did happen that would mean it’s a good thing for Google but possibly quite disruptive (in a bad way) to the rest of us.
It can happen because of Google Glass. SNL did a very funny parody of a Google Glass user this past weekend. You know how parody works right? You take something that is observable then you overplay the potential bad or weird parts to make fun of it. The trouble is that even if this parody of Google Glass users is overdone for effect it still has its roots in the idea that wearing a computer of sorts in front of our eyes is a distraction at best and a complete listening shut down at worst.
I honestly could not talk to someone who was wearing a pair of Google Glasses. There would be a few things going through my mind.
- Are they REALLY listening to me?
- Are they recording me and not telling me?
- Are they watching something else while they are having a conversation with me?
- Just the physical distraction of the glasses themselves could make me lose my concentration.
You can add your questions to this list but you get my point. It would be like talking to Tim Allen’s neighbor Wilson from his Home Improvement show. You remember the guy who you could only see him from the eyes up over the fence? It would be as if there was nothing else to the person except those glasses and the intent behind them.
Oh and if you really want to go dark here, this is an interesting scenario. I saw an article in the New York Post about the prevalence of actual sociopaths in today’s society. It is believed that 1 in 25 are sociopathic that are not serial killers but they are literally morals and ethics free and couldn’t care less about another human being’s welfare. Put Google Glasses on a person like that and they become a weapon. A bit extreme? Only if you have never had the displeasure of having a person like this in your life for even the shortest amount of time. They exist and they would love to manipulate someone with a technology like this. I promise.
Anyway, listening in the age of Google Glass (if they don’t indeed go the way of the Segway which is what I am praying for) is headed for a serious downswing. We appear to be hell bent on multi-tasking our way out of any real human interaction in the name of ‘accomplishing more’.
My only question is “Accomplishing more what?”