See you again in the digital world

What do you remember about 2013? Maybe President Obama starting his second term or Edward Snowden revealing secrets? For me, it is more personal. I recall fondly meeting my uber editor at Mojo's. That meeting led to the birth of this column.

As I wrote in the first article of this column, Tara was "cognizant of the changing world and the need to demystify technology for their readership." Now as I write this, it seems hard to sum up 211 articles, 105,500 words in total, into one 500-word article … or is it?

Let's agree to disagree that almost everything in the digital world has an "equivalent" in the real world. The litmus test becomes how will I have acted in the real world since the consequences should be the same if they are equals in both worlds, right?

For example, the equivalent of phishing messages in the digital world are the cons in the real world. We learned to stop cons in their tracks, whether the con was through junk mailers through our postal system or knocks on our front doors. We learned to toss junk mailers or never open our front door to strangers. 

Answering the call-to-action of a phishing message can lead you to becoming a victim of online scams. This is analogous to answering the knock on your front door by opening it so the con can swindle you away from your hard earned cash. Both a phishing message and a con may use scare tactics, tug on your heartstrings, or offer something too good to be true.

While traditional media exist in both worlds, social media exists only in the digital world. Anyone can make factual or nonfactual statements, aka posts, on social media platforms. Many also may have replaced, or at least appended, traditional news sources with social media.

Without the editorial integrity that we always expect from news outlets of traditional media, social media platforms can propagate – thanks to the internet, aka the cloud – both factual and non-factual statements that are read/heard/seen around the world.

Integrity is relegated to the poster. In other words, the burden of fact checking shifts to the reader of social media posts with no culpability for posters of nonfactual statements because it is legal under free speech even if nonfactual posts may be unethical and harmful for society. "Fake news" anyone?

I see a glimpse of hope in WBVO printing again and until such time, look out for my upcoming website in late March,, housing all 212 articles of this column and more. Also, our nonprofit's 8th Annual Living in the Digital World Senior Expo & Conference will be on Thursday, May 23, as we continue to introduce seniors to this important life-skill of digital literacy.

As I always opined, the internet is a double-edged sword but even after 11 years writing this column, I still believe that the benefits outweigh the detractors by a big margin. Until next time!

Tak Sato

Strategist and technologist with over 30 years of experience in the private sector. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.

As Founder of 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 while using digital literacy coaching as a tool for seniors to avoid loneliness and social isolation. Please visit EmpowerSeniors.Org for more information!

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 9:19 AM, 03.05.2024