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Get your head out of the cloud


I once had a dot-matrix printout of this Farrah Fawcett poster.

It’s quite geeky, I know, but my dad was a programmer and this was cool in his circles.

She was quite the icon for her day, but in computer printout form, Farrah is the perfect allegory for today’s cloud-based culture.  The “ones” and “zeros’ are the symbolic narrative for how we live our lives today.

What is cloud computing exactly?  My best explanation is that it is internet based resourcing with the “big win” that your same resources are available anywhere you have a connection.   This goes for applications, phone systems, and now I’m realizing, much more.

We’re moving to cloud-based social circles.  Our lives are all available online, and for some, exclusively so.  As humans, we are inherently social animals.  Now, we’re becoming social-media animals.  I can’t tell you how often I’m engaged in a real conversation when I get this incessant urge to pull out the iPhone and verify a fact or document my story with photos, or if the conversation is pedantic, check my media streams (show of hands?).

I’m an avid Facebooker, and I blog for several sites, including my own. It’s become such a part of me that I think what I’ve written has actually been a veritable experience. If you have witnessed my on-line life, you’d know a lot about me.  If you don’t, well then you don’t know Jack… or Steve… or Rhonda… or…

I’m a huge fan of irony, and though I don’t intentionally seek to, I manufacture it daily. My need to post “good material” hinders the very things I post about.  I’m hyper-interested in documenting “the moment” instead of living in it.  When I go to Disneyland, I’m more set on contriving memories than experiencing them.  My poor kid spends half his day posing for his parents-slash-online agents.  And deity forbid I go to bed without checking my Facebook timeline.

If Shakespeare was right, then the whole world’s a stage.  It’s just online now in the form of Facebook and sites like this.  If The Bard of Avon were alive today, The Globe might just be a blog and not the most noted theater in history, and “to be or not to be” might just be a late-night Tweet instead of the beginning of the celebrated Hamlet soliloquy.

What’s my call to action here?  It’s simple: Get your head out of the cloud and live life on-Earth and not online. Yes. I’m advocating that you ditch the smart phone and the social media, and get on with your three dimensional self.  Are you with me?

Wait, hold that pose… that that look of indignation will be perfect for my next Facebook post.

originally posted FEBRUARY 24, 2011 at

One Comment leave one →
  1. 11/09/2012 6:17 am

    Unfortunately, doing analysis on a gigantic unstructured digital social network turns out to be one of the big challenges of contemporary social science research. You either need to slurp a lot of data into something that crunches numbers, or you have to painstakingly research individuals in a tedious way that is not going to give you any general results on the scale necessary for this problem. So I tried a new method.

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