Commuting with Winston Churchill

An epiphany! As I strut and fret my short time on this blogging stage and worry about the Generation Me who are more “Confident, Assertive, Entitled – and More Miserable than Ever Before”, (Twenge, 2006) I think I get it!

Yes, I subscribe, I register, I participate, I experiment, I learn, I salivate with the enticing array of technologies on the Web 2.0 smorgasbord. There are so many to discover on the horizon that make our lives easier BUT – and here’s the rub – there is something I find unsettling about how we are living our lives online and how this media ecology is changing us. With my various hat wearing roles I find mysef cautioning learners on eCitizenship, eResponsibility and eSafety. I could despair about humanity and the lack of accountability and affiliation. Why, oh why, do people cast off their decency and humanity by hiding behind pseudonyms so that they can shout their obscenities and profanities online to people they don’t know and will never care about!

But this is not a strut, this is a skip! There are always two sides of the coins to this social experiment which we call the internet, the internet which Eric Schmidt suggests is “the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy we’ve ever had” (2010).

The flip side is what I really immersed myself in yesterday. Whilst commuting back to my home town on the train I shoved my Metro newspaper to the side and checked my mobile. @RealTimeWWII had tweeted the days events from 12th November 1939. I found myself entranced by Winston Churchill in the virtual world as the train stations slipped silently by in the real world. There was his picture on my phone, I held him to my ear and heard what he had to say on the 10th Sunday, the 10th week of the Second World War. I was transported to a different time and era, I shed a tear, because I had the hindsight of the past. I knew what Winston didn’t because it’s now 2011. He spoke of Japan in 1939, I thought of my 3 wonderful years living in Japan, an experience I will cherish for ever. He spoke of a war that would end soon and I knew otherwise.

All these emotions – from a few tweets on a mobile.

Thank you Web 2.0. Thank you Internet. Thank you for changing the world.

Now…let us learn and let us not forget!

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