Posts Tagged ‘internet’

How Social Media Has Enhanced our Social Lives

11/14/2011

A friend asked my to help her with a paper of social media and it’s effect on our social lives. I said how I believed social media has come to improve, not degrade our personal relationships. Today everything is becoming more social, thus many things we used to do as individuals, can now be done together. After all, Facebook and twitter are now linked to everything from blogs, to websites, to game apps, to dining room table seating!

Here are some examples:

1) This past week I was studying the personality types of some famous celerities (namely Abraham Lincoln and Bill Gates). I came across a blog written by David Keirsey, the son of the famed psychologist by the same name, and left a comment on my confusion with regard to types. (If you care, I was wondering what made Lincoln an extravert). I also clicked on the feature to notify me if a follow up comment was left. Within 48 hours I received an email notifying me that Keirsey had responded to my comment. (Turns out, Lincoln was far more expressive than he was attentive).

2) We have all heard of Twitter, but few of us truly understand the profundit of this explosion into the world of social interaction, of the highest order. Once upon a time, kings and nobles sat in royal chambers light years from the simplest layman. When one sociologist confirmed a study where he proved a mere 6 degrees of separation between any random person to another, it was received with fanfare. Today though that study is insignificant. Chat up any famous celebrity or personality and if you’re interesting enough you might just get a response! (Me and President Obama by the way: 2 degrees of separation).

The other day I attended a TEDx event here in Orlando and I was talking to a coordinator who does game design. The conversation turned to Twitter and he was saying how he wasn’t too familiar with mini-blogging but decided to post a question/problem he was having. After a few days he had found the answer and updated his status, in brief 140 character form. This continued a few times before suddenly he started getting followers. Not just randoms, but avid game designers who were intrigued by his knowwledge and acumen. He has since become an “online expert” in the field of game design.

3) There was recently an app developed that allowed people to reserve seats in restaraunts through a social media platform. One can choose where they would like to sit, near who, or not near who. This was soon advanced to gala dinner arrangements (as we all know how picky honorees can be). And I have heard that a rabbi, who familiar with the app, tweaked it so that members of his community can pre-arrange their seats for Shabbat dinner. So the virtual becomes actual.

4) I have a group of close friends, and we have developed an online mastermind group. Essentially whenever we feel motivated, or the need to be motivated, we share our inspiration, frustration or encouragement with the group. Of course, we can each view these updates and comment in our own time, so it avoids the issue of having to coordinate an exact time of when we can all talk. We are truly moving into a world of “asynergy” where we no longer have to all be present at the same time to engage with others.

I can probably go on and on, but the point is that the telephone didn’t make us less social (as TV did), and as the greatest technological advancement since the radio, the internet has found ways to bring us together, to find common ground where we’d otherwise either fail to notice or lack the means to follow up. An interesting conversation used to end with “You’re interesting, give me your number so I can never call you”. Today it ends with, “Wow! You’re fascinating, I’ll hit u up on Facebook and even if I don’t message too often, we’ll be able to stay in touch”. Today an innocent comment pertaining to dissatisfaction with a product or service on a Facebook discussion Board can send ripples through a company’s quality control rooms.

Some say we are becoming less social. Some say we are learning to breach the barrier and communicate with people in ways we never thought possible. I say, it’s all what we make of it.

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Writing History

08/01/2010

“In a few hundred years, when the history of our time is written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event those historians will see is not technology, not the internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time, literally, substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves.
“And society is totally unprepared for it.”

~ Peter Drucker

Simple Things to Make You Safer Online

01/08/2010

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud, “The Daily Wealth

“You guys really know everything about me…” Maria Bartiromo told Eric Schmidt – the head of Google – on a new CNBC special about Google.

Maria’s basically right…

She said, “If I’m a Google user, you have years of my search terms [saved] – stuff that may contain all kinds of incredibly personal data. If I use other Google services, you can see the contents of my email, my documents, my spreadsheets, my personal photos, my voice mail, even the contacts in my address book…”

Then Maria asked, “People are treating Google like their most trusted friend. Should they be?”

The reply from Google wasn’t as cheery as the company’s name and image… “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place,” Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt told Maria. “We are all subject in the U.S. to the Patriot Act. It is possible that that information could be made available to the authorities.”

(See a 30-second video clip of that here.)

Thanks to the Patriot Act, law enforcement and intelligence agencies are legally able to see your Internet activities without a judge’s oversight. (You SHOULD be protected from this under the Fourth Amendment – unreasonable search and seizure – but the government gets around the Fourth Amendment because it gets the data from Google… Therefore it’s not unreasonably searching YOU.)

Maybe Google won’t do anything bad with your data. (“If we broke our trust with our end users, then they would leave,” Google’s CEO said.) And maybe the government won’t do anything bad either…

But what about the real “bad guys” out there? What about guys like the person who hacked into my family member’s bank account? These guys pose extraordinary danger… trafficking in your stolen data and looking for the right sucker to take advantage of.

It’s nothing personal. It’s like the Mafia… It’s just business – big business. So let me back up and ask you… All things being equal, which house will likely get robbed first?

A) My house, with an alarm company sticker in the window, which says something like, “This House is Secured By ABC Security.”

B) My neighbor’s house, with no alarm company sticker.

Let me make my point another way: If a buddy and I are running from a bear, I don’t have to be faster than the bear to get away… I just have to be faster than my buddy.

In short, predators typically go for the easy prey… the wounded… the low-hanging fruit.

So today, as a very minimal step, I urge you to get yourself some Internet “alarm stickers,” so to speak… You must start now, at the very least, taking a little more precaution than your neighbor.

I have spent more time doing research on this subject than I have on any other DailyWealth. When it comes to investments, I have a background. But I don’t have a background in this stuff, so I had to put in the time.

In the search for a solution, I have signed up for all kinds of services and installed all kinds of crazy things on my computers to see what works. I have gone through hundreds of suggestions from readers and checked each of them out. I have talked with Internet security experts and privacy experts.

I could write a huge report on what I’ve learned (and I might just do that). It is all quite scary.

But today’s DailyWealth is about a few incredibly simple things you can do to dramatically decrease the likelihood of having people snoop on you and your life. Let’s get started…

1) Start by limiting your exposure to Google.

Whenever you use Google, it logs your search terms and your computer’s IP address. And once you log into Gmail from anywhere, Google can log your activity then, too. I have two simple and easy solutions for you.

Instead of Google, you can use 1) www.startpage.com to do your searches. StartPage doesn’t capture your IP address. Solution 2) is to use www.scroogle.org (make sure you type in “.org” on this one). Scroogle is pretty nifty… You request the search at Scroogle, it asks Google for your search, and then it reports those results back to you. One useful feature is you can set Scroogle as your default Internet search engine in your web browser.

Also remember, if you’re a Gmail user, as long as you’re logged in to your e-mail, your actions online are being logged.

I have nothing against Google… It just happens to be the biggest search engine. I just fear “the bad guys” and Big Brother, and what information they might extract to use against you.

2) Improve your passwords!

Using “Fido123” for everything from your Amazon account to your bank account simply isn’t good enough. An exceptional resource you should try for this is RoboForm: www.RoboForm.com.

3) Whenever possible, use more than just one layer of security with your financial accounts.

You usually have to ask for this. But Bank of America, for example, will send you a randomly generated, one-time-use password delivered to your cell phone by text message. Others will send you a credit-card-sized random number generator. Between the randomly generated password and the password in your head, you should be in good shape.

Of course, these three things are above and beyond doing “the usual”… which means updating Windows regularly, using firewalls, anti-virus, etc. But you should absolutely do the above three things – at least.

Seriously consider more drastic measures as well…

I’ll share some of the more drastic measures I’ve tested and found to be useful – including using a more private e-mail service than Gmail or Yahoo and ways to hide your IP address from Google and even your Internet service provider – in tomorrow’s DailyWealth.

Until then… good (and safe) investing,

Steve