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140 conference smalltown 2011

"We Teach Them to Drive"

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"How the Internet is like a Small Town"
...Twitter is coffee shop of the world... the whole world can now know about the good or bad thing you did just like it's always happened at the small town coffee shop.

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What I Love and Hate about Social Media...


Ok, let's actually start with the hates...

There are none, I hate nothing about Social Media, let me clarify.

1. Do tons of people (me included) waste away billions of hours on Facebbok, Twitter, Pinterest, etc...? Yes absolutely they do, that's a people problem not a Social Media problem. 

2. Is gossiping, bullying, bigotry, SHAMWOW style marketing and many other stupid aspects of the human race prevalent and easier to disseminate on Social Media...? Yep... but it's not Facebook's fault that stupid people do stupid shit on it's website. 

3. Is your privacy harder to maintain because of Social Media...? Actually , no... just don't post stuff you don't want on the internet, it really is that easy. 

All of the "hates" are people problems and not Social Media issues. 

There are some things about the functionality of my favorite Social Media sites that I would like to see change, I even suggest them to them from time to time, but when someone gives me the use of a tool like Facebook for free, it seems awful shallow of me to get all pissy about them maintaining control of their own product how they see fit. 

Ok, the loves...

1. Information... and the presentation of it. Several months ago my 12 year old son had a math problem that I was completely stuck trying to help with. Yes, I'm 37 and my 12 year old has homework I was stumped by. I took a picture of the problem and posted it on twitter with the word "HELP" in the tweet... in a matter of minutes a person who I have never met face-to-face sent me a link back. The link had a step by step video of how to execute the problem... not just the answer, the steps for my son to view and learn the proper method. Impossible feat without social media. 

2. Exposure to the world. I was raised in South Central Kansas. I was fortunate to have open minded parents that let me kinda become me with just the right amount of guidance. But it's still Rural South Central Kansas. In 2008 when the first openly Gay guy followed me on twitter... well, I probably yelled out "Holy Shit this gay guy just followed me on twitter." Then this guy started making (respectfully) flirting type comments to me and telling my wife she had a good looking husband (he must be a blind Gay)... I am sure my wife and I made a deal about it... it was something I hadn't ever really been exposed to. But I immediately realized this was a smart, respectful, funny guy that I liked conversing with, and who gave shit whathe sexual preference was. I never had any really animosity toward Gay folks, I was just never really openly exposed to them on a daily basis. It's made me a better person. I hope my actions have made some folks realize that rural Kansas is also filled with people who may not have a comfort level with some things just because its not part of our day-to-day... not because we are filled with hate. 

3. Saving the best for last... "The Conversations." I have a statement in the header on my blog that says "If you are 100% sure you are right about something, you are 100% done getting smarter about it." I wanna be smarter more than I wanna be right. The conversations, comments and feedback I get from folks via Social Media have really helped me at least feel like I am getting smarter, wiser in my old age...I use to rely on a very small circle of people and the media for most of the input that help mold my mind and Social Media has remedied that ridiculousness. I love it. 

Yes there are issues, it's not all rainbows and butterflies... but this tool that we get access to for free will most definitely be the single biggest life changing piece of technology in most of our lives... what if we all decided to use a little bit of our time on it to kick ass. 


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