I feel like a dinosaur whenever I use my simple LG flip phone. I am surrounded by iPhones and Blackberries and the growing inability of anyone to have an eye to eye conversation for thirty seconds without checking their hi-tech appendage.
I do respect the technology, but I find the constant interruption and stream distracting and inefficient. It breaks focus.
Still the change it is bringing is significant. In the August 22 edition of New Scientist they note that users downloaded over 1.5 BILLION apps on the iPhone alone in the first year of the iPhone App Store. Over 64,500 NEW apps were added in the first year and 169 non-gaming apps are loaded every DAY. 1/3 of the users say that “apps have changed my life”, and app users spend 22% less time at a computer.
Like so much new technology we wonder how we ever lived without it. We no longer find a need and fill it; we discover what we can do and then do it.
It is a poor picture of progress to do more efficiently that which does not need to be done at all. But I cannot deny the seduction.
I have been blogging for two years and well over a thousand entries. I started Twittering as a means of expanding the number of readers and as an accessory to the blog. I use Twitter to share articles and sources with other readers and gain access to material others send. It has become and extension of my blog.
It seemed initially that you would follow someone who seemed to have an interest that would mesh with your estimated reader profile and then hope that they would reciprocate and then follow you. Then if you actually posted something worthwhile they would forward it around and then you would pick up even more followers.
Twitter is one of those things that if you try to figure it out beforehand you will never do it.
I loaded up a few quotes I collect on a Twitter timing device called Tweetlater. One of the quotes struck a small nerve and was retweeted by several readers (they copied my tweet and sent it the people on their list. The quote was from Edward Murrow, “A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”)
A mother of soldiers in Israel liked the tweet especially in light of the recent Yom Hashoah holocaust memorial. I sent her a copy of one of my original blogs “The Three Most Important Points to Understand about the Holocaust”. It was also an article published in the local newspaper a few years ago.
She complimented the article forwarded it and another Jewish Blogger/ Twitterer in Jerusalem who forwarded it to a Jewish guy in Anchorage, Alaska who also forwarded it with his praises.
The point of this story is trying to understand how these new social networks changes things. The right wingers post their right wing stuff, and the left wing posts their left wing stuff, and somewhere in there are people who just think for themselves and share interesting perspectives and common interests.
But in the course of a few hours I was able to share a perspective with fellow yids and non yids from Anchorage to Jerusalem.
I am not sure what the total significance of this is but I realize it is amazing. The entire internet universe is a virtual magazine with thousands of people with similar interests editing and sending articles and blogs to people with similar interests. The consumers produce and forward content.
The walls between producers and consumers of content are gone.
A different post on the Zayela episode in Honduras is picked up by Twitterers there and pictures and opinions are relayed back as I now quickly connect with eye witnesses and opinion first hand. I now have Facebook postings from new ‘friends’ in Honduras as a result, though I now need to brush up on my spanish.
I have to confess that I am impressed by this Facebook phenomenon. It has opened up a whole new aspect of networking. I can keep up with so many interesting people I have met so easily.
Like any technology it has to be consciously managed. I have certain rules. While I observe exchanges between my daughter and her social networks I avoid participating in it, out of fear of intruding into her circle of friends.
I avoid exchanges that require work like “25 things about you.” One of my wife’s friends refers to being a “drive by Facebook” participant. Facebook is a great way to keep up with a lot of people QUICKLY.
Lastly, while avoiding overtly political and religious proselytizing, I will share articles that I think offer some depth into a subject, though others may simply disagree. On Facebook it is easy to move on and not bogged down in different opinions.
Friends can disagree and still be friends.
It is common knowledge that dogs have better night vision than humans, and a vastly superior sense of smell and hearing. Israel’s Bio-Sense Technologies, recently delved further, and electronically analyzed 350 different barks. Finding that dogs of all breeds and sizes, bark the same alarm when they sense a threat, the firm has designed the dog bark-reader, a sensor that can pick up a dog’s alarm bark, and alert the human operators. This is just one of a batch of innovative security systems to emerge from Israel, which Forbes calls “the go-to country for anti-terrorism technologies.”
Tips to Steve Kruger