Smartphone or Kitty Litter

Smartphone
Interesting…Bloomberg Businessweek ran a special anniversary issue with a countdown of the 85 most disruptive ideas (in the last 85 years), and guess where they think the smartphone fell in that?



#78!!! 



Right up there with the white board (#82) and good ‘ol high frequency trading (#80).



But not as important as get this…the corporate campus (#77), the VCR (#74), Kitty Litter (#73), Singapore, literally–{Uh, and how about Israel?} (#71), bottled water (#56), High-fructose corn syrup (#48), Air Jordan sneakers (#45), Napster (#43), and junk bonds (#7).



They ranked the smartphone so low in disruption, even after giving it a two-page spread with no less than 32 “things the smartphone killed” and they probably missed a few hundred!



There is no need to list everything the smartphone does for you, because you use these functions every moment of every day



To most people now, the smartphone is one of their most prized possessions and they don’t go anywhere without it and rarely do you see anyone not “on it.” (Uh, I know more than a few people who even dropped them in the toilet!)



Honestly, Businessweek…I think you missed the significance of the smartphone big time. 



Yeah maybe Starbucks (#68) and the Pill (#9) are competitors, but not as important or disruptive as Kitty Litter…shame on you!  😉



(Source Photo: here with attribution to Lonely Bob)

Lock Or Peephole

Privacy
So is that keyhole in privacy for a lock and key or as an exhibitionistic peephole?



The New York Times had an excellent article on this yesteday, called “We Want Privacy, but Can’t Stop Sharing.”



We are compelled to share online to demonstrate that we are:



– Important

– Interesting

– Credible

– Competent

– Thoughtful

– Trustworthy



The problem is when you inappropriately overshare online, you may leave youself little to properly disclose in building real-world intimate relationships in a normal give and take of “opening and closing boundaries.”



Moreover, being like a lab rat or in a house of glass walls for all to watch indiscriminantly can leave us with feelings of “low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.”



Being under observation–even when it is voluntary–implies being open to judgement and this can drain us of our ability to be ourselves, creative, and take calculated risks.



We don’t want to become too busy brushing our hair back and smiling for the camera and making everything (artificially) look like made for reality TV (e.g. Kardashian) perfection. 



The key to privacy is to disclose what needs to be shared, put a lock on what’s personal, and not arbitrarily leave the peephole eyes wide open. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to g4ll4is)

You’re Probably Not A 10

If I Want Your Opinion
There is a review online for nearly everything…from sources such as Amazon to Yelp, Angie’s List, IMDb, and more. 



But what you may not realize is that the knife cuts both ways…you are not only the reviewer, but the subject of reviews.



And if you’re not all that…then everyone can know it!



The New York Times has an opinion piece by Delia Ephron about how reports cards are no longer just for kids, and that they are “for the rest of my life…[and] this is going on your permanent record.”



From cabbies that won’t pick you up because you’ve been rated a bad fare to your therapist that says you can’t stop obsessing, restaurants that complain you refused to pay for the chopped liver, and the department store says you wasted their salesperson’s time and then bought online, and even your Rabbi says you haven’t been giving enough to the synagogue lately. 



People hear things, post things, and can access their records online…your life is not private, and who you are at least in other peoples opinion is just an easy search away. 



In Tweets, Blogs, on Facebook, and even in companies customer records, you have a personal review and rating waiting for discovery.



Your review might be good, but then again…you are not always at your finest moments and these get captured in databases and on social media.



Data mining or exfiltration of your personal information is your public enemy #1.



Of course, you’d like to think (or wish) that you’re brand is a 10, but not everyone loves you that way your mother does.  



Too bad you can’t tell them, “If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it”–either way, your gonna hear what people think of you loud and clear. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why Innovation Is On The Decline

Light on off
You’ve experienced it firsthand, innovation is slowing down (and yes, it’s quite disappointing!).  



Do you feel compelled to get a new smartphone, TV, or just about anything else…or do you already basically have the latest and greatest technology, even if it’s a couple of years old now?



But imagine, if something great and new did come out…we’d all be dancing in the streets and eager to buy. 



That’s right, innovation is not what it was…according to the Wall Street Journal, there is “An Innovation Slowdown At The Tech Giants.”



The question is why is this happening?



No, the tech companies are not copying Washington politics (sleepy, sleepy…)! 



But instead, we may have become our own worst enemies to our ability to innovate anew. 



The New York Times today explains that our minds have a toggle switch between being focused on a task and being free to let your mind wonder and innovate. 



You can’t do both at the same time, no you can’t.



And these days, we have so flooded ourselves with information overload with everything from 24/7 work and “big data,” email/texting, social media, and thousands of cable stations and billions of YouTube videos, and more that we are forever engaged in the what’s now, and are not allowing ourselves to rest, recuperate, and think about the potential for what’s new. 



If we want more from the future (innovation, creative problem solving, and sound decision making), then we need to allow some space for our minds to restore itself.



Whether that means daily downtimes, weekly walks in the park, monthly mediations, or semiannual vacations…we need to stop the diminishing returns of constant work and information arousal, and take a little mind breather. 



Instead of chugging along our insane nonstop routines of endless activities and firehose information engagement, we will do ourselves and our children and grandchildren a great service by pulling the train over for some rest and relaxation…and only then will real innovation begin again. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Movement For Human Rights

IF



1) you are a dissident living in a country that suppresses basic human rights



OR



2) you are a person seeking to help others suffering under authoritarian regimes



THEN



consider signing up at Movements.org, an organization that connects people in need of human rights help with those wanting to provide assistance. 



After you create a profile, which is given a star rating depending on a vetting process, you can post requests for help or offers of services to help others. 



Available services for “advice, contacts, training, and services,” include those from:



– Lawyers

– Journalists

– Technologists

– Translators

– Policy Makers



The great Soviet Jewish dissident, Natan Sharansky, who spent 10 years imprisoned in a tortuous gulag, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Movement.org is a “transformative approach to an old problem” for collecting and trying to get information on human-rights abuses to reach the free world and to seek justice and freedom. 



While dictators looks to suppress freedom of speech and information flow, social media is combating it, and Movements was provided a grant from Google, I believe, to do just that. 😉

UNSOCIAL Social Media

This video is absolutely fantastic.

Congratulations to Gary Turk for hitting the nail on the head here.

And thank you to my daughter, Michelle, for sharing this with me.

Smartphones, dumb people.
Easier to connect with people, but we spend more time alone.
Be there in the moment.
Give your love, not your like.
Look up from your phone, shut down your display.

Part of me just wants to say that Social Media is one of THE biggest wastes of our time…REALLY!

Another part of me, believes in some aspects of it for information sharing, collaboration, and being a greater influence.

But Social Computing is NOT a replacement for genuine human interaction, which is too OFTEN what it has become.

I applaud my daughters, for at times, disconnecting their Facebook accounts to read, spend time with friends, and do other activities.

We’ve lost too much of ourselves to an escapist virtual reality–where it’s easier to HIDE behind a screen, then be there in the flesh facing the challenges that we must.

There are great aspects to being online–it’s been a true information revolution–but the computer needs to SERVE the human master, and not the other way around. 😉

Six Internet Creepoids To Beware Of

Six Internet Creepoids To Beware Of

There are a lot of basket cases out there–both in the physical world and in the virtual one.

The New York Times today has an article by Henry Alford about people who act or are mainly just perceived as creepy online.

He gives examples of people who take out their smartphones (with cameras) in the locker room, who show their online photos and whoops there’s an indecent doozie, who mistakenly send a critical email to the wrong person or distribution list, who say the wrong thing online because of autocorrect or autofill, and who act the detective looking up too much information about others.

At the end, Alford calls for “more tolerance toward the gaffe-makers.”

And while we should be good people and forgive genuine mistakes, some things are not accidents and deserve the seal of “ick!”

Here’s the list of 6 Internet Creepoids to seriously beware of:

1) Overly Cyber Friendly or Familiar: People who chat, text, email, or comment in a way that portrays an inappropriate knowing or intimacy with others.

2) Cyber Stalkers: Those who unsolicitedly and unwanted or obsessively follow, friend, monitor, or harass others on the Internet.

3) Internet Trolls: Individuals who giddily sow discord with argumentative, inflammatory or extraneous messages online narcissistically or just to be jerks.

4) Cyber Exhibitionists or Voyeurs: People who inappropriately or compulsively expose themselves or watch others naked or engaged in sexual activity online.

5) Cyber Impersonators or Identity Thieves: Those who falsify their identities by exaggerating or masking their true selves, pretend to be someone else, or otherwise steal someone’s online identity.

6) Cyber Freaks: Individuals who behave online in extreme unusual, unexpected, and frightening ways.

So while some things are innocent or accidentally creepy from otherwise nice and decent people, other actions are genuinely such from the real online creepoids. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Dancer and The Tablet

So we are at this Mediterranean Restaurant next to the beach.

We are sitting outside–it is a little chilly and we cozy up next to one of the fire poles to keep warm.

We weren’t eating much; just a drink for our anniversary and something to munch on.

All of a sudden, my wife points to this lady from the next table who gets up and starts dancing provocatively.

You can see the sliver of ocean behind her, the night sky, and the cars and pedestrians are going by behind her.

There are multiple realities going on here:

She is in her own world–dancing to the music, swaying this way and that, and enjoying her femininity.

On the other hand, the guy she’s with is taking a video of her on his tablet computer–he seems more concerned with capturing the moment with his technology than enjoying his girlfriend.

We are conscientious observers–I sort of wondered if the guy should’ve been paying more attention to the women who was wooing him than playing with his tablet.

The other lesson that I can’t help reaching is that cameras and microphones are truly everywhere–privacy is a complete myth!

He is recording her, we are videoing them on our smartphone, and the restaurant is taping all of us on CCTV cameras, and NSA is laughing at us from Fort Meade.

So if you want solitude, book a flight with Virgin Galactic. 😉