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Navigating the Cyber Jungle

*Take 2 because my computer booted me out of my programs, and I lost my entire blog, which I am positive was my absolute best writing ever!!! Nonetheless, I will attempt to achieve that level brilliance in my current blog.

When my husband and I met, we were 19 and ready for adventure. I can see us clearly, fresh faced and excited. We would go on road trips for days at a time armed with the essentials: snacks, soda, smokes, some cash, and a road atlas – you know the Rand McNally Road Atlas of the US. We used that map to explore some of the most wondrous places –  quaint towns, rickety-looking covered bridges, mountains, rushing rivers, and forest after forest. These memories are near and dear to my heart, and those trips helped us to discover the world around us and each other.

Nearly 20 years later, we still enjoy road trips; however, they are are carefully planned with a destination in mind. The three of us, because now we have a precocious 6 year old, get in our minivan, loaded with everything we could possibly need (and many things we won’t): healthy snacks, water, our debit/credit cards and cash, the iPod, PSP, hot-spot, and iPad cued to Google Maps. Oh, and our outdated Rand McNally is still somewhere under the seat. Instead of following the road and using that old map for when we get really lost, or just to figure out where we happened upon, Google Maps directs us without a hitch (navigationally anyway). It helps us avoid traffic jams (usually), and gives us more time to spend at the planned destination.

It just occurred to me recently, you know when I was writing my first attempt at this blog, that we could never really go back to the way things were. Sure, the maps still work, but we would inevitably get stuck in traffic and argue that we should have taken a different route. Just as that old road map has been upgraded, all forms of communication have progressed. And even though a big part of me longs to go back to those carefree Rand McNally days, another part of me is excited for what is coming in the miles ahead. Like Clyde Thompson says in “The Cyborg Advantage”, ‘It’s not like the machine age is going away. We’re sure to depend increasingly on digital assistance for thinking and socializing, and each new technology will extend our reach while threatening to swallow even more of our attention.’

So now as I continue through the ever-changing world, it is comforting to know that I am not the only one who is worried that she will crash – you know as I talk on the bluetooth, put on my makeup, and change lanes all at once. I was excited to learn that there are actually programs to keep me organized and current (if that’s ever possible). In fact, the tool that Stephen Mangat talked about, HootSuite, is going to be my next stop!

Safe travels everyone!

Here are some tips to get you going where you need to in a timely manner:

Reinventing Your Connection to the Web: Time Management in a Digital Age by Russell C. Smith

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-c-smith/online-time-management_b_1513438.html

Big List of Online Productivity Tools

http://lifedev.net/big-list-of-online-productivity-tools/

Quick and Dirty Web Search: Five Ways to Find What You’re Looking for Online

http://websearch.about.com/od/searchingtheweb/tp/Five-Ways-To-Find-What-You-Are-Looking-For-Online.htm

A Blog to Follow:

http://zenofdigital.wordpress.com/

 

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