The network: living transparently online

What do you think of when you hear the word database?  Do you think of statistics or information; formed from a collective process that may ultimately display some sort of end total, ratio? Even a percentage?

Maybe, if you’re like me, you’ll think of all of that, and apply it to the social network.

The network I speak of is the one that everyone is on, regardless of any names or titles these sites provide valuable demographic, psychographic, and ethnographic information from all of those involved; all across the globe.

The database in the American household is reaching into the low terabytes, and the global networks such as AT&T and Yahoo! are soaring in the petabytes (which is 1000 terabytes).

We the people of America, and beyond, have become information in databases all over the world; our banks, our libraries, schools, and in other countries.

One place we know our information is stored is online. We must take notice of the idea of digital identity, housed in this grid of interconnected computers and servers called the network.

The network is a double-edged sword of wonderment, allowing many people to connect and create magical moments for families and friends across nations.  But it is also an information-gathering goldmine.

Allowing companies to accept what you and I willingly submit, which could be none more than an email, or as cumbersome as your facebook.

These companies have access to a huge amount of information that each of us has willingly submitted. The companies then use the data collected from actions performed by you and I, and use it to sell advertising space; the main proprietor for all media.

My point is that if we didn’t have advertising, we wouldn’t have media, or at least media would be different and so would our world.  So even though they take advantage of the information freeway, it’s ok because we just call it marketing.

On a final note, one of my professors said the other day that “it’s not real unless it’s online.” Now, if the incoming generation has the mentality such as that, then many great things could result, but the decline of physical interaction between humans could be the end result.

I already see many people with their blinders on, meaning that they have their iPod in and/or their phone out in their face/head region, using these devices as their social lives instead of looking at the world around them.

Whether we like it or not, the social network is here to stay and there’s not much anyone can do about it.  That’s alright, we just need to remember to appreciate the real world sometimes.