Monthly Archives: March 2014

Reading

The first article I read was the Nicholas Carr one, original I know. I completely agree with him. I actually had a conversation with my Dad about this topic a few weeks ago. I’ve noticed the same change in myself. I used to love to read, all throughout my schooling up until about 11th grade I read all the time, but once I started to have to read books that I wasn’t as interested in, I didn’t have time to read the ones I did. Once I started having time again, I struggled to get in to the books. The same is true with readings for school, even though I’m interested in most of the topics, I have to push myself through it because my brain is so used to reading short things online and moving on to the next one. I think that the internet is fantastic, but it has definitely affected my ability to focus for long periods of time. I hate to use this term, but due to the “rewiring” of our brains, I think we need to remember to practice staying focused and reading more often. I think its more important than ever to make an effort to read for pleasure, lest we risk losing even more of the ability to focus on long stories. Reading boring subjects for school or work or whatever is already hard enough, but it will only get harding if we don’t exercise our long term focus.

Lessons Learned from the Readings

The first article I read was Footprints in the Digital Age by Will Richardson.  The first thing I learned from the article was that no matter how much you think you are, you really aren’t in control of your web footprint.  However, you can take measures to increase the control you have and to try to make sure the footprint you have is a good one.  Kids are online more than ever before, so it is important that they are educated in the correct ways to safely use the internet in order to maintain the best control of their footprint and what people say about them.  The second thing I learned from the article is related to this.  While its nice to always have people agree with what you say, it is important to seek out different opinions, especially those which are different from yours.  Doing this will force you to see the flaws in your argument and learn how to reduce them, which in turn makes your thinking even stronger.  The second article I read was Personal Branding in the Age of Google by Seth Godin.  Although this article was short, it had a very important message.  You need to be very, very important what you put online, because once it’s there, its there for good.  Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but the Godin said the best thing you can do is to put good things online as often as you can.  It is kind of similar to building a good credit score, everyone misses a payment here and there, but continually making payments on time, as often as you can will build up your score and can balance out the bad ones.  The third article I read was Vanish: Finding Evan Ratliff.  This was an extremely interesting story for me.  I learned that even with all the precautions he took to keep from being found, all the information you put on the web can come back to haunt you, and in Evan’s case it did.  Its a really good example of how even though you can try to hide behind things, misdirection or true, something like posting a picture of you drinking at a party can be found.  This ties in to both of the other articles I read.  It relates to the Godin one because although he was found, he put out all the other information to help it become much harder to find, and it relates to the Richardson article because it says that if you’re not careful, one little mistake online can hurt you.