Monday, January 21, 2008

The World Is Flat Blog Response Question

How many of the flatteners have affected your life? If you could add a flattener, what would it be?

As I personally feel that all actions have a reaction, I feel comfortable stating that all of the “flatteners” listed in The World Is Flat have relevance to my life and everyone else’s. I feel enlightened after reading about each of the flatteners and the literal chain reaction they have had on our lives, technologically speaking, but also economically, academically, socially, and emotionally. The “flatteners” have changed the way we do business and communicate. They have brought us closer together than ever before.
While the Web was being posted to in the early 1990’s, it was not until the late 1990’s that I, personally, felt its effects. Prior to that, research was conducted with books and was extremely limited. The internet and “the new age of connectivity” opened up a new world to research to the point that people now research mundane issues simply because they can. Whereas before, one might ruminate about what year it was when Jim Henson created the Muppets, now John Do can find that answer with just a few keystrokes.
Similarly, why leave your home when you can complete all of your holiday shopping in your pajamas. Which could be bad for retailers…or it could be good. It all depends on how you look at it. There is always a cost benefit ratio to be devised. UPS benefits from more deliveries, the cashier does not benefit from more deliveries as her hours of personalized service will likely be cut.
Technology, like shopping in your pj’s, has its pros and cons. Some people feel more stressed because they are constantly available, via cell phone, or email. Some people feel soothed being more reachable. Personally, I find it best to exert the control to not feel obligated to answer my phone or check my email sometimes. Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean it has to control us. Technology is a tool that we have the power to manipulate, don’t let the opposite be true.
The flattener I would like to add, which has been addressed to some extent in these chapters, is the shrinking of electronics. Technology is getting greater, and tinier. Take for example, the Ipod, which led directly to the Ipod nano, and the even smaller Ipod shuffle. There is an Ipod video, but I fear we won’t be able to make out what’s on the screen soon.

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