Positives outweigh the negatives

I frequently laud in my column the 1992 movie “Sneakers” where the plot is almost an accurate premonition of what the digital world would be 25 years later. That world is where “information” and not greenbacks provide unimaginable value to both businesses and nefarious actors alike.

When researching the current state of information collection activities by data brokers, my research also found that the phrase “you are the product,” in reference to one getting something under the misguided pretension of no strings attached, predated consumerization of the internet.

Another movie, this one from the late 1990s, “Wag the Dog,” is another dead ringer where I can discern many parallels to current events. Although not a case of life imitating art, the rise of fake news and strategic use of tools born in the digital world are too eerie to say the least. It’s as if these two movies were prophecies!

If you take sensational headlines as gospel, I don’t blame you if you want to disconnect from the internet, aka the cloud, and crawl underneath a rock. But will that really help? Not so, according to recent congressional testimony where it became public knowledge that Facebook purportedly collects information even after you leave the social network.

We all know that any innovation, including the disruptive innovation we can’t live without these days (internet), is a double-edged sword because, like a moth to a flame, nefarious entities will always try to game it. No, I don’t consider social networks or other tools born in the digital world as being nefarious. The inappropriate use of these tools by shady entities creates noise and promotes fear but the reality remains that the benefits of the digital world outweigh the negatives.

I strongly believe, for example, that the innovative use of these tools can provide options to help alleviate many seniors from succumbing to “loneliness.” A study that came out earlier this year equates loneliness to having detrimental health effect on seniors, equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarette a day!

Let’s filter out the noise and instead of inaction, use these cloud-based tools innovatively to help ourselves and our communities solve society's challenges!

Tak Sato

Strategist and technologist with over 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.

As Founder for the Center for Aging in the Digital World, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering seniors with digital literacy, Tak connects the dots to help people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 9:59 AM, 05.01.2018