Monthly Archives: April 2018

My Tech Ears Are On #AmWriting

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I was just thinking…  Years ago, I told my daughter that she had two ears for one very good reason, to listen to what she was being told.

Quite easily, I manipulated the technical position of being the parent to instill my belief system into my child.  Doesn’t mean I was correct, or as my experiences changed that I would self-adjust and change my perspective of the world.  But most importantly, if I did change would I remember to tell her?  Was there some automated tech system like HootSuite in place that would magically transfer my new point of view?

As we grew older, she became more flexible and I became more rigid.  It seemed that my format had changed and I went from a JPEG to a PDF way of communication.  This was a tremendous trade-off, as I was no longer morally required to show my good intentions by my actions.

In order for her to hear me, she would also have to hear her own inner voice.  This created a major communication gap that we’re still trying to overcome.  No matter how loud she yells, I sincerely hope that she herself.  That she might know what she’s saying, because I’m going to defy logic and invoke my parental power, that is I disengage and stop listening.

Simply put, I’ve turned on my selective hearing and I’ve adjusted the volume knob to mute.  And it’s a very methodical process, as I’ve been overwhelmed by social media lately and unable to understand how everything that I once cherished and held dear, is now being threatened by people I will never meet.

I’m reminded of when my daughter was a little girl, I’d tell her that the reason she was born with two working ears was so one ear could take information in, to be be processed by her brain- the grey matter between her ears- and the second ear would be an exit point for the excess, less useful information to be dumped out.

In my own defense, back then I worked two jobs, cooked all the family meals, did laundry and was a chauffer to pretty socially active kids.  In direct proportion to my overworked, underpaid position in life…  I had perfected a deaf ear, as my complaints were ignored, I lost my ability to have a sympathetic ear.

Fast forward to today’s hyper-connected culture, where people’s expectations are always on high and soaring.  Where users are quick to retaliate against what they dislike, to mobilize their followers and block, boycott and shut down someone else’s means to a livelihood.  From the safety of my couch, I’ve read what people are hearing on social platforms like Twitter, Instagram and FaceBook and it’s alarming.

So, I’ve decided to pull back a little.  To reduce my daughter’s angst, because no one is immune to anxiety.  I’ve also apologized in advance of my shortcomings, I’ve let her have the last word during our weekly arguments, which almost seem scheduled.  Because somehow I know, that by letting her vent and rant, I’m establishing a strong sense of self.

Hopefully, she’s discovering her own truth.  In a world that is still very much dog-eat-dog and I need her incisor teeth to stay sharp.  Not that she might bite me, but that she’ll have a little bite left, in case she herself becomes a parent.  And I manage to accomplish all of these things by thinking while she’s talking.

Like right now, I’m thinking while you’re reading this, that social media and the internet have given us a mighty big soapbox to shout our unsolicited opinions.  People I’ll never know or meet are liking what I post and I know I shouldn’t care, but I do.  There’s value in those clicks!

Yet, as comforted as we are by the likes and follows, none of it is accurate and we

To argue not for argument’s sake, but to allow ourselves the difference of opinions doesn’t make us enemies. That there is value in our words, as they allow us room to think, grow and move forward.  Being persuasive by storytelling and finding possibility by compromising.

Now, as I wait for her to settle down, I realize that this isn’t an ongoing battle. I love her unconditionally.  Eventually she’ll take the car and drive to the concert in Rhode Island with a carload of screaming silly girlfriends, but not today 🙂

I was just thinking… Sometimes Tweets are an immediate emotional response, that had the reader waited a few minutes, their response to the Tweet might have been less visceral.  Emotions are rarely logical, more often than not they’re base and mean.  These are my thoughts today..

Maybe, we all can get along, it just takes a little effort to hear what we believe needs to be said.   In that way, Ms. Maya Angelou was right… “We are more alike, than we are different.”

What are you thinking? 

Write back, let me know.  I’m listening  ~Tech Ears On~

 

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Filed under AARP, Baby boomers, social media

Apple Tech & Puzzle Pieces #AmWriting

helping hands 2 29 2016

I was thinking, as much as technology is improving life, there are ethical questions of “Who actually benefits?”

Recently an Apple iPad advertisement on television did an awesome pitch showing kids using their devices to complete homework assignments.  It was brilliant!  Its potential was amazing, but then there was the small print regarding an iPad pencil and that made me realize that there were high costs associated with this technology, even so the ad showed a nice diverse group of children.

One could easily conclude that this was perfect pitch.  But when the TV commercial ended the local news came on, about teachers in our community, the cityscapes and economically depressed neighborhoods.   Here too were a diverse group of children, all smiling.  Maybe because there were television cameras in the schoolyard or perhaps, because they were going to get another Snow Day in late March.  But whatever the reason that they were smiling, rest assured it wasn’t because Apple had distributed iPads with pencils into their classrooms.  And it’s reasonable to assume that these third graders had yet to be exposed to real world economics and the inequality that poverty creates.

“A Wealth of Nations” was written by Scottish economist Adam Smith, in his “Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations”.  He wrote about the division of labor to productivity to free markets.  In those scenarios there was a presumed self-regulating economic system that proved efficient at the distribution of goodies, like an Invisible Hand during that century’s industrial revolution..

But the truth is, particularly in today’s digital world, privileged is as privileged does and entities that control the wealth, also keep the wealth.  There is no trickle down effect, but instead a hoarding of wealth, through the use of systemic apathy, in which lobbyists, taxes and monopolies have existential preferences.

And all of this seems very poignant, as we’re entering another industrial revolution, this one referred to as Industry 4.0, in the new Digital Age.  It is a name for automation and data exchange that includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things, cloud computing and cognitive computing.  Also referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.

I was thinking, even though we have the capacity to create technology that improves life, how can we ensure that the technology gets into each little round hand, regardless of race, nationality, health or poverty level?

Hello Apple!  How about you make that difference, start with iPads with pencils for ALL school children for  $Free.99

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Filed under Apple, ipad, Politics, social media, technology