It has been a while since I have written anything. I have been so busy that I have barely been able to catch my breath. But that just means that all of my thoughts have been festering for a while and now I get to share those with the web. We all have blogs, some kind of social media account, and cell phones, and other devices that keep us all connected. In some form or another, we are now Generation Connect. Forget the baby-boomers, the generation-x’ers or anything else. We are now Generation Connect. And this spans from very young to very old, from one continent to another, and in some cases, even to space. Yes, the human network is becoming the “Borg” in a matter of speaking.
This past weekend, the East Coast of the United States was preparing for Hurricane Irene. Any hurricane is a bad one, and it battered the Bahamas good. This is not to make light of the disaster, which affected many. If you followed some of it on Twitter on Facebook, some tweets and posts referred to the loss of power. Funnier people posted that now people would have to interact face to face for the first time in a couple of years. They joked it was so much of a shock that FEMA was getting involved to help people learn human interaction once more, setting up emergency conversation stations to help with this. And while this is funny, one thing that it made me think was how connected we are.
The older portion of Generation Connect may remember life without cell phones. People actually had to use pay phones if they were away from home and the office. Some of the more “important” people would carry things called a “pager”, this was a way that someone could call a number, type in the number (or numeric message) and it would get sent to that pager device. Soon, they were able to get actual text messages to these pagers. Sure the 1980’s had cell phones, but if you were ever unlucky enough to see it, you would think the military discarded their ancient communication phones. They were huge clunky and rarely worked. But people went out and interacted with each other. Even kids playing video games (usually at that time it was the Atari systems, as Nintendo was still working on their first version) had to go outside, travel over to their friends house and talk to them in person to see if they wanted to play games. Music sharing consisted of recording songs on the radio, or making a copy of the album on a blank cassette tape.
But why is any of that important? Why is it so important to understand where we have been as a human civilization? I feel in order to prepare for the future, we need to understand our past. Not necessarily learn from mistakes, but learn from successes. Mistakes are just that, mistakes. Can they teach you lessons? Sure. But the lessons you learn from successes are worth that much more. So where have you been in the social sphere, whether digitally or in person? What has made you successful in that sphere? The biggest thing I can see is the need and want to belong. Everyone is just looking for acceptance and wanting to be part of something. For some it is on a smaller scale. For others it is the grand scheme of things. Either way, in order to succeed and start a “new trend”, you must build communities. Communities where interaction happens, conversation driven. The day of the digital equivalent to the lecture is almost over. How will you grow your place in Generation Connect?