The Internet & New Media

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By Akosua Kathryn Albritton
Keeping It Real And Human
Who could imagine that devices like DVDs, the Xbox and handheld PCs would revolutionize how we entertain ourselves and produce work.  The DVD puts the viewer in control of what scenes of a movie are watched as well as meet the director and actors of the movie backstage.  The Xbox turns a home into a veritable nightclub.  A person need only hook a Xbox to a television and guests may sing to karaoke, watch photos synchronized to music or play games.  Handheld PCs expand the limits of the virtual office.  An executive can make last-minute changes to a multimedia presentation or access a search engine on the Internet to verify the accuracy of a statement.  When all the work is done the device is slipped into the inside jacket pocket.
It’s a fascinating time in human existence.  All because of silicon, algorithms and frequencies.  The silicon is the substance; the algorithm is the series of steps and the frequency is the air current on which it’s transmitted.  How did humans get along without them?  Much slower but, surely it was accomplished.  Someone who watches trends and cultural evolution is John Naisbitt.  Naisbitt has the knack for spotting a trend and seeing its flowering ten to twenty years in advance.  Naisbitt had his eye on Martha Stewart back in 1999.  In his book High Tech, High Touch: Technology and Our Search for Meaning, he cautions people to balance the reliance on technology with humanism*.  This columnist calls it “keeping it real and human.”  No matter the novelty or ease that technological innovation provides, it doesn’t beat the brain or the heart.  At some point, the people in the chat rooms must log off and the reporter preparing a news story has to get in the field to see the event first hand.  Keeping it real and human applies to everyone.  Below are suggestions to nurture one’s brain and heart for your ultimate innovation and evolution:
Set aside time each day to be quiet:  The knowledge and memories within are of more value than the chatter outside.  Allow yourself a minivacation from TV, radio, DVD/CD player and print media.  That quiet time allows you to process what you get from outside to be integrated with your own knowledge base.
Eat salad made with various green vegetables:  More green means more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and chlorophyll.  Greens feed the brain, the heart and total body.
Consciously take in deep breaths throughout the day:  Deep breathing brings in more oxygen into the body system.  More oxygen feeds the nervous system and the brain.  Deep breathing calms the heart.  Conscious breathing gives a moment to put the mind on the essential point-living.
Get away from the PC monitor:  Instead of the monitor, look at your co-workers or the view from the window.  Real life may bring real results to your work.
Rather than e-mail, pick up the telephone or pick up a pen to write a note:  Your voice on the telephone transmits so much information to the other person.  Also, clarification and agreement occur sooner.  A handwritten note found in the mailbox or on a desk may brighten someone’s disposition toward the sender.  After all, you did take the time to write.
Take a quiet bath:  Without radio or telephone, enjoy warm water surrounding you.  Water is a great conductor of thoughts and spoken words.  Imagine what you want to accomplish or describe your goal, then see how you are more easily able to make it occur in reality.
Spend time with your loved ones away from television, video, CD or Xbox:  Nothing is more powerful than simple contact and conversation.  Family members may be disoriented or even annoyed at first but the moments of undistracted communication shall result in clearer understanding and a connection.
Enjoy the rising and setting sun:  The earth uses energy to turn from east to west.  Take advantage of the increasing and decreasing energy of the sun’s rays.  There’s no accident that some people are “early birds” and others are “night owls.”  It’s all about whether one is fed by dawn or dusk energy.
Look people in the eye for a moment when talking:  If it’s true the eyes are the windows to the soul, then take a peek into the other person and let them peek into you.
What do these suggestions have to do with technology?  Humans produce technology.  Humans consume technology.  The quality of our thoughts impact what we make and why we make it.  The quality of our thoughts impact how we utilize technology.
* To read an interview with John Naisbitt and co-author Nana Naisbitt visit www.govtech.net/magazine/visions/feb00visions/unintended.php
Have a Web site that needs reviewing?  Know of a New Media event?  Contact me at Akosua@plans4success.com.

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