Thursday Jul 16 2009
I was reading Ken Dychtwald’s With Purpose
recently, and was struck by a comment in the introduction. He noted
that "in a single generation, sixty-two went from 'such a long life' to
'he died so young'." Being 57 myself, I have a personal interest in
the subject of aging and how I can continue to live a life that is
significant and contributes to the communities in which I live, learn,
work, and play.
Another book that is waiting to be read is Canadian author Don Tapscott’s Grown Up Digital. Don goes into great detail to share his views on how the 'net generation' is changing our world. This of course is the generation of 15 to 30-year-olds who have grown up with the internet, laptops, personal digital assistants, every digital device (cameras, telephones, HDTV, iPods, etc.), and are now connecting with complete ease in social networks. Did you know that Wikipedia lists over 125 social network sites, including such familiars as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr and Plaxo?
Fortunately, I have worked within the information technology industry for my entire adult life and have a pretty good appreciation for the impact of computing technology, digital communications, and the Internet. On the other hand, I have only flirted at best with social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I am well aware that my nieces and nephews have grown up with all of these tools at their disposal and the use of these products and services are second nature to them, just as driving a car is to me.
When I look into my future, I think it is reasonable to anticipate that I might live another 20, 30 or possibly forty years. The question that I am now pondering is, “Can I afford to ignore today's social network products and services, let alone the advances that will undoubtedly occur in the evolving digital world?”
Fernando Flores states that:
"We live in an extraordinary time. Our thinking styles are severing us from our families, our religions, our ideologies, and nature. We are caught up in a pace of social and technological change that makes our work, businesses, and education sources of anxiety and unfulfillment. At the same time, thinking about our thinking and observing our observations can bring us a new world in which work becomes a place for innovation, and in which peace, wisdom, friendship, companionship, and community can exist. Let us design this world together."
Much of the focus of the Eldering Institute
is aimed at transforming our experience of growing older. Eldering is
relating to people of all ages with respect and dignity. Eldering is
learning and growing until the end ... staying open and engaged, and
being inspired and enthusiastic each and every day.
I have therefore concluded that I shall invite my nieces and nephews to introduce me to social networks and share with me why and how they incorporate these products and services in their lives and the lives of theirs friends. In fact, I am committed to learn these tools and to stay abreast of the evolving digital world so that I can continue to be included in the networks of friends, families, and the communities in which live for years to come. Will you be joining me?