Cup of Joe: An Open Letter To Everyone Else
If you are reading this post on a computer screen, please print it out and hand it to someone that doesn’t have access to the internet. Because this post is geared towards them.
Dear Everyone Else,
Hello there, my name is Joe, and I am from the Internet. Well actually, I am from South Carolina, but I am sending this article out to you through the Internet. On a blog to be exact. A blog is a online journal of sorts. The blog that I am sending this article through, gets around five thousand readers a day. Before I started writing for blogs, (or “blogging” as we like to call it) no one listened to me. Or at least no one beyond my family and friends. I don’t have a degree in writing or journalism. But that’s OK, because, I don’t need one. Because blogging is open to anyone that has access to the Internet. And if what they write is good enough, then it too can be read by thousands of people.
This democratization of information and ideas has been revolutionary in the last several years. Don’t believe me? Well go ahead and turn on your nightly news. You are sure to hear about Egypt shutting off their Internet services to cut communications with political protesters. If that’s not enough evidence, ask your local newspaper how the Internet is changing their business. Newspapers across the country are shrinking in size and distribution because they can’t compete with the Internet. Now Internet giants like Google are venturing into on demand video entertainment, which is bound to severely disrupt the television industry.
Social media, (which is just a fancy phrase for parts of the Internet where people talk to each other) is changing the way people engage each other as well. For example Facebook.com now has around 500 million people using their web site. That’s well over the population of the United States. It is projected that among those 500 million they share 30 billion pieces of content every month. Yes that’s right, I said billion, with a “b”.
I know that many of you are reading all of this and thinking, Well great for them, but who cares? That’s fine. No one is forcing you to use the Internet. But the problem is that some of you own businesses. Some of you run organizations. Some of you write and vote on laws. Some of you run our churches. And some of you are in our courts. If you fall into any of these categories, or any position where you are responsible for others in any capacity, you are doing them and yourself a diservice by not taking full advantage of the Internet.
It’s 2011 and the Internet isn’t going anywhere. Despite this it seems like every couple of months a politician, judge, or CEO does something that runs in complete contrast to the reality of the Internet. I believe most of these people have good intentions, but they are just inexperienced with the digital age. You need to make sure that you aren’t one of those people. You need to make sure that your good intentions aren’t blindsided by a complete failure to understand how information is exchanged in the 21st century. Your local library provides free Internet access and computers. Go and use it and, learn more today. And who knows? You might enjoy yourself with all of this nonsense we call cyberspace!
Thanks for listening!