I was born during a time when kids did not have access to computers. We hop scotch, double dutched, played with board games, played with our plastic dolls and listened to whatever anyone told us. Child you better mind your manners was the common theme back in those days. It was not until the late 1980 I purchased my first personal IBM computer for an ridiculous amount of money….to the tune of $5000. Yeah, my sentiment exactly but I had to have a computer. It took me a long time to save my money for a computer. Now you can purchase a laptop or a personal computer for pennies on the dollar. Fast forward to the nineties, everyone was learning how to become astute with technology and social media. There is absolutely no excuse to not be connect through social media nowadays. It is 2010, everyone is getting connected through social media and it is the norm. Blogging is taking on a life of its own through social media…
Having an online identity on websites like Facebook, Twitter and the hundreds of social media website is mind boggling. A blog lends our voices to an already noisy cyberstreet. Which is what makes social media very important for folks to be connected and use their voices to speak up. Gone are the days when neighbors sat in their homes looking out of the windows, whispering in corners and being fearful of meeting folks. It took an personal experience for me to realize that being a loner and fearful of folks is overrated. Television shows like “Disappeared,” “I Survived” and “I almost got away with it” and Snapped had me thinking it is better to be heard than less seen. The cyberwalls have ears and it is social media that allows folks the opportunity to spread their message through cyberspace. Whatever that message may be…..you have folks out in the world that are up to no damn good.
This week I had a lengthy conversation on my cyberstreet with one of my Facebook peeps. When we were finish cyber sparking one another, the comment list had 50 comments. She eventually deleted herself after I posted on my wall a to the left comment in response to her she hate America ranting. One of my cyberneighbors who visits my cyberhouse posted “what a weirdo, lol” and don’t waste your time with this person. Clearly the conversation was going in a different direction but it was too good to simply drop…I was being thoroughly entertained. I had to figure out who is this cyberstranger looking into my cyberspace window? I totally agreed with my cyberneighbor, but there was something very strange happening with our conversation when it went from our disagreements about President Obama to hating the United States. The cyberfriend became a cyberstranger when she said “the United States is horrific,” something about truth and she couldn’t wait to leave the United States. Now of course I told her don’t let the door knob hit you in the ass on your way across customs. Really! The audacity to say that to an I love America person like no matter how shitty the economy. I talk a lot of mess and can go to the edge of a cliff with my comments but I am not willing to jump off a cliff no matter how heated the discussion may get. I don’t care if you curse me out with a curse word between every English word. Just know that anything that I construe on my cyberstreet as pure nonsense, hate our country speech and going over the edge about any President of the United States, we got a problem and you may not like my response nor feedback to the rant. My cyberstreet is no different than my physical street. No nonsense tolerated or accepted. We agree to disagree and we do it with cyberhugs. Now lets get back to some trash talking about my cyberstreet when you visit my cyberhouse.
I pondered for a few days and wondered who is really looking into my cyberstreet window? Do I really know? With 2000 plus Facebook and Twitter friends, I have yet to cyberchat with everyone on my cyberstreet. I wonder what do my cyberspace friends want and who are these people? Are we cyberfriends because we play Mafia Wars, love sharing recipes, share digital images, suggesting a book, photography tutorials, cyberhugs, political bantering amongst ourselves, simply learning and educating one another? Are we merely cyberfriends who parked our cyberhinds on one another cyberstreet to get a glimpse of each other cyberworld? At the end of the day….who cares as long as we know how to respect each other cyberstreets. The older one get the harder it is to make friends. Social media has changed that mindset because now folks can make cyber friends with folks around the globe. Businesses can market and hire folks from their computers with the click of an keystroke. My how times have changed and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
A few questions about my cyberspace house with answers:
Has social media changed my perception of folks? Hell yeah, I no longer take it for granted that anyone agrees with me. They don’t have to and neither do I have to agree with them.
Do you care about how others perceive you in cyberspace? Not really but my family members would think I really lost it if I posted digital images of myself on my wall bare butt naked with my vayjay spread eagled for the entire world to view. Especially if I was not doing a tasteful editorial spread for Playboy and getting paid to show my body to the world. I think my immediate family would get into their cars and drive to my home. It would be gang of them pounding on my physical door and once I opened it, they would ask me do they need to have my head examine.
What about cyberneighbors hanging out on your cyberstreet? What about them? I think most folks are in a comfort zone and many folks believe what we have read and we tend to judge folks based on stereotypes and propaganda. I think folks are interest in one another’s culture and each other. I think we can all learn from one another. Remove the judgement, race baiting, bickering about who is right and wrong. What you will get is a big party, probably a few tears, screaming, yelling and a few happy dances.
What is the worst thing about cyberspace? Folks hiding behind a computer screen bullying, violating folks civil rights by using racial overtures that can be construed as racism in America. I was stunned when I watch my first video of President Obama a year ago and read the Youtuber comments. It was disheartening to say the least……our president has thick skin but behind close doors I hope he lets it out. Someone like me who does not serve any public political office nor am I on a mainstream television show may respond with a few expletives of my own in response to comments that does not speak to the content. Leaving negative comments on any forum wall that are based on the color of a person skin is pure racism. I am still baffled with YouTube and Twitter for allowing such social media negative behavior to occur?
How should one conduct themselves in cyberspace? With extreme caution if they are doing anything illegal. The FBI, CIA, Police, DEA, the White House and every government entity are connected through social media. They have a right to keep our cyberstreets clean of any illegal activity that is against the law. No argument from me on that topic. Gone are the days when organizations used their resources to find out about an individual background. Why bother….when you have social media. Doing anything that makes someone raise an eyebrow and pause should be an indicator to not share it in cyberspace. Some folks make it too damn easy….
What type of images should be posted in cyberspace? That is a slippery slope with some folks slipping right onto the abyss cyberfloor. I was awaken to a few things about people. Nudity is freely expressed that I still have my own personal issues with seeing some one behind, penis and breast exposed on the Internet. A clear indicator that things have really changed and we are living in a progressive world. Some folks have argued that it is an expression of art and a person loving their nudity. All of it sounds great but than Facebook may consider modifying the setting with digital images by placing a message on nudity pictures. Model Mayhem system of handling nudity is excellent, you don’t see the images unless you click on the cyberdoor. On the other hand I get to see what actual body types really look like without their clothing on..it is my humble opinion if folks are not in shape. It is best they keep their clothing on…I may say something out of pocket if the image shows up on my cyberstreet. Fully clothe digital images that reflect your real identity are great to post on any online board for sharing to family members and organizations seeking to hire, updated images of your current image and family pictures, business and creative digital images to promote your business are excellent way to get your product to market. That my opinion and you know what they say about those….everyone has one.
Should parents be friends with the children in cyberspace? Absolutely! I would question any parents who has an online presence but choose not be connected with their children? Parents might learn something about their own child. In today’s technical society it should be a law that mandates parents with children under 13 years old to filter, check up and manage their children social media experiences and online identities. Gone are the days when parents thought they knew their child’s friends…..little Jane and Joe can be having a cybersexual relationship, posting naked digital images, talking mess about your crib, having company over at your house when your not home, planning to blow up their school, fighting other kids in school and wishing to commit suicide. I am not making that up either….watch the news for the latest cybercriminals. We must protect our children from others and themselves.
Should we talk about politics in cyberspace? Yes. I remember a time when it was frowned upon to state your political affiliation openly to anyone. Folks political views are no longer taboo to discuss, whispering in hush tones do not work in cyberspace, trying to figure out the mindset of your audience is a complete waste of time, allowing yourself to learn is huge in cyberspace….because the information is endless. It is a lot to consume that you may have to weed out the bullshit from fact.
Should we talk about religion in cyberspace? Now that is a slippery slope with some folks taking their religious beliefs and rhetoric to another level. I believe it is one thing to be spiritual but a religious fanatic is not a good look for anyone in cyberspace or in person. With heads of churches under scrutiny for behaviors that make me wrinkle my forehead…..I am on the side of the road with the entire religious community. I grew up in the church as far back as my memory serves me, as kids we were in the church on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays. When I was a teenage my grandmother took me to church…we would sit in church all day.. As an adult I had one foot in the church and one foot in the world. I am a work in progress with religion. I have read different theology on various religions and come to the conclusion. The spiritual relationship that one has is between them and their higher purpose. All I know is I don’t serve Satan and lord knows I hope I have enough Jesus in me to rebuke him.
How long have I been connected to the Internet? Since the late 1980′s. I have had an computer and wanted to learn everything about technology, computers, digital imaging and anything else I could consume from a book. I have to thank several technology companies that hired back from back in the day. It was an excellent experience to be a part of the technology industry when it was thriving. Back when folks were outsourced by marketing companies to technology corporations and telecommuted from home to be road warriors, your dedicated home office had to be equipped to conduct business with B2B. It was mandatory to have Internet connection, Telephone, Laptop, Computer, Fax, Printer, Desk, Chair, PDA cellphone, Office Supplies and a Digital Camera.
Has social media changed the economy? Yes, companies started believing that computers can do the job of an human being. We are slowly becoming a paperless society. It would be nice if companies can take social media, technology and create new job opportunities for folks.
Is it important to be connected? Being connected to the Internet through social media gives folks the opportunity to network and stay abreast of technology, politics, events, people and places. With unemployment being at all time high….this is the opportunity for folks to brush up on the computer skills and knowledge about social media. There is no reason why anyone should not know what social media is and it is my humble opinion that everyone should have an online identity. Setting up a cyberhouse that reflects their likes, dislikes and its gives folks and organizations an glimpse into their cyberworld.
Does it matter how many cyberfriends you collect? Not really…folks with thousands into the millions of cyberfriends have an audience that they have build up over time. If a newb registered their identity to social media the only friend they may have is themselves….until folks come knocking at their cyberdoor.
What should you talk about in Cyberspace? Everything that pertains to your interest. Content that teach, inspire, enrich and empower others. Name calling, slander, defaming folks can make your cyberfriend uncomfortable and it does nothing for anyone….it simply makes you look like a cyber idiot. If I notice anything strange activity on my cyberstreet. I will respond to it and provide you with the unwelcome feedback your soliciting. Hopefully to the point where the cyberstranger delete themselves from my cyberstreet. My cyberspace friends are a quirky bunch of intelligent folks. I can only hope that my cyber ranting and ravings stirs a conversation. Otherwise I am simply talking to the cyber universe from my cyberspace window.