Sinead O’Connor, sentiment and mental health…

Sinead O’Connor, in her hour of need, has started a very important conversation regarding our relationship with social media and how it is a factor in mental health. The Facebook post or suicide note that she left on her wall is quite distressing for friends and fans alike. There are plenty of messages of support but also some revolting messages left by trolls. The reality is that there is a huge possibility that social media has in fact saved her life. She has kick-started a much needed debate regarding cyber etiquette. A certain level of discretion is advised in times like these, and perhaps in its aftermath the post should be removed from online and flagged as a distressing post as it is not in the interest of the public good as it may cause distress.. And without a doubt it also highlights the importance of mental health and how to manage technology around this.

Digital schizophrenia: blurred lines between virtual and reality

Women’s Aid Ireland have called for measures to be taken in relation to the issue of cyberstalking of women by exes. The problem I am sure is exacerbated by data retention. That is where the issue lies in relation to social media networking sites. Technology has a bionic element when you add a human mind to it. People are suffering in the aftermath of a break-up it is so tempting to ‘check-up’ on the person online. It can become a habit, a routine and a harmful one at that. There are blurred lines between the virtual and reality and I would question if there were such a thing as ‘digital schizophrenia’. If these cases end up in the courts will these be quashed by people admitting they were ‘intoxicated’ at the time, plead ‘alcoholic addiction’ and attend a few AA meetings?
Women are not being controlled solely online rather people generally are by data retention. If the information were made unavailable within a certain timeframe or if the information was made ‘instantaneous’ it would be better equipped to manage and address this issue head-on and resolve the issue to some degree. People have a certain responsibility who they allow into their online circles, this is more difficult in relation to certain sites. People are only part of the problem, the technology is there and there is also the concept of ‘free will’. There are data protection/data regulation/data retention rules underpinning many areas and why is it not the same for the internet?
We need to hammer out a code of what is acceptable, the rights and responsibilities of digital and internet citizens enforced by the justice system and stop denying that the issue exists or shrouding ourselves in digital secrecy, hiding behind a screen to vent our views and frustrations in our attempts to create digi-vigi-justice or digital vigilante justice. We have become dependent on technology and with that it is possible that we have become addicted also. Therefore, there may be underlying psychological issues and influences which we are unable to identify and address within ourselves without the help of a trained and qualified professional. There are no avenues in certain areas and aspects to explore so that we can seek the help that may be needed. One example is virtual verbal harassment, the trolls and rejects of the internet world. Where do you go to get help if you have been affected?
It is a great thing that Women’s Aid Ireland are attempting to raise awareness and tackle this issue but there are so many other related issues that must be also acknowledged in order to reach a satisfactory resolution.

Let’s Cybernate! Cybrary Awareness.

Questions, questions, questions.
Are cybrarians the librarians of the future?
Are cybraries the new libraries?
Can a library and a cybrary work in conjunction with one another and apart?
How can we use the present classification library system, Dewey Decimal system to develop a new classification system?
Will cybraries become institutes of learning where people can become rekindled with what is the essence of learning?
Can we classify technology in terms of genre?
What is seen to be a good type of web page?
Is there any value attached to bad technology?
Do we archive, preserve and censor information?
Who will run the cybraries? For example, megacorporations like Google or now Alphabet?
Are cybraries free or do we pay subscription fees?
Do communities play a central and integral part and are inbuilt within the very framework?
Do companies have to remain closed off in their headquarters or will they move out into the community itself?
Can we experience every form of technology through these hypothetical centres or will we have to continue paying for independent gadgets which are unsustainable in terms of energy in the long-run?
Can we experience obsolete technology given how fast the pace is moving in the technological world?
How will we define regions, will everywhere become a smart city and on an equal footing or will it depend on population and technological infrastructure?
Can we learn by doing with the help of a cybrarian?
What are the rules of a cybrary?
How will the cybrarian enforce them?
Will people have to register for technology in future like that of a passport, in terms of digital and cyber citizenship?
Will passwords continue to remain in existence?
What qualities will be required for a cybrarian, a good hacker perhaps?
How will we design these Cybrary Centres?
Is there a time limit or time frame on cybraries, for example, like library opening times?
Can you borrow from a cybrary and how?
Will Higher Education Cybraries differ from Local Cybraries?
Who will own the cybrary, people or corporate syndicates?
How will cybraries serve the community?
What are the incentives to provide a good service to cybrary users?
Is there such a thing as cybrary health promotion?
Are the children and adults separated in the centres as they are at present in libraries?
What are the limits of a cybrary? Is there such a thing as copyright, intellectual property in terms of ICT, one example Creative Commons?
Will prisons in the future contain cybraries will prison cells be tech friendly?
Will cybraries feature in a technocracy?
Will there be cybrary representatives?
What are our digital rights and responsibilities?

Awaiting the Seven Wonders of ‘Digital-Architecture’…

The digital world is ubiquitous. Humans are ubiquitous. However, we need to get ‘smart’.
Smart cities are a good start in order to arrive at where we are heading.
Here are just a few things I came across recently:
Irish Yapping is a new app for Irish people to connect across the globe.
http://irishyapping.com/

There are new innovations such as implanting electronic circuits in plants so that the plants can be watered and receive vital nutrients

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/electronic-circuits-implanted-inside-plants-to-distribute-water-and-nutrients-in-the-plant/articleshow/49879626.cms

Digital strategies are being worked on

http://www.google.ie/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi_juqyjqTJAhUCFw8KHYjnAuQQFgg1MAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnnumerique.fr%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F10%2FBJDW_CNNum_ActionPlan_Final_ENG.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFPMyVwb1F7Vsbrv0ZX7G47DbQH9A

Soon we will even be able to take it a step further with digital avatars after death

https://t.co/NwEM5Bc44x

The world is moving fast. To quote Yoda from Star Wars:
‘The future is difficult to see because it is always in motion’.
We need to embrace the digital in all its forms.
People are viewing the digital from the wrong angle because they fear it.
The future has always been feared and has created anxiety particularly regarding new innovations.
People fear they will be replaced by robots. It may be the case in some aspects.
However, the market is changing owing to the digital.
A hub or a bandwagon?
The digital is a hub of wonder and excitement just waiting to be discovered and explored.
We need to get out of our rut and start to believe in the digital.
Experience Digitality and learn from it and share your experience with the world.
The world is watching. Make it interesting.
Fifty years from now, if we are still around, we will look back and think to ourselves
Wow, just wow, how did we not believe in digitality? What did we fear exactly?
Why did we fear it? Where can we go from here?
Youth is wasted on the young, you will hear this idiom time and time again, however, innovation is sometimes wasted on humanity as we must learn to appreciate it.
One day we will look at ‘Digital-Architecture’ and realise that there is such a thing as the Seven Digital Wonders of the World and it is ever increasing.
Make it happen. Be the idea. Live through the experience. Create something special to be shared.
For the first time ever we can globally connect our ideas with one another.
That is something truly special, mind-boggling and amazing.
Digital is you, me and us! But we must avoid creating a ‘them’ wherever possible.
It is an immersive sensory experience and it can only develop from here on out.
Work with our similarities, consolidate our interests and cross the divide of difference and learn to tolerate and accept these where needs be.
Before it was very difficult to know what others thought but now we can get a real understanding about how others think and feel about the world around them and what goes on in it.
I was a nineties child, a lover of encyclopaedias and books. Never did I imagine at twelve years old the power of the computer and the digital word! I began to discover this power in my late adolescence and since then of course.
How the world has changed so much in only a few years!
It’s beyond comprehension.
It is not about doing everything anymore but it is the power to do everything and holding the key to getting things done.
We cannot see certain things with the naked eye but use some technological tools and weapons and things change completely.
Our strength lies in the power of capabilities.
In hindsight we will realise that we have wasted a lot of time.
But it is a process and it does take time.
Can you imagine life without the digital? It’s a hard concept to fathom or swallow.
We are aware of its power now and there is no point of return.
We are encompassed by the digital.
We can be who we want. We can dream. We can do.
Next stop. Digiverse of Digitalsation. Are you ready?
I don’t think anybody can answer that truthfully.
Life is about the journey even if it has been virtualised.
I will leave you with some food for thought…a novel called Smog City by Rebecca McNutt:
“We’re losing society to apathy, to digital technology, the people who care about nobody else but themselves. They share every little detail of their stupid lives online as if the world even gives a damn… digital technology is getting smarter and society is getting dumber,” Mandy whispered in a voice filled with disbelief. “Society is… it’s slipping away.
But ask yourself, is it really?

Power, People, Peace and Paris

A restaurant, a concert and a stadium. People enjoying life, working hard yet finding a little time for leisurely pursuits. Eagles of death metal were playing and so were France and Germany in a high profiled soccer match. It was 13/11/2015. Friday the 13th, unlucky for some. NO. I want to scream right now at the people who did this, the people responsible for this carnage, this atrocity. But I will not. Instead I will approach this in a more civilised manner. You get what you give, everyone deserves a certain level of respect. But these people, in the words of President Obama, have ‘attacked humanity’. THEY HAVE KILLED. KILLED INNOCENT PEOPLE. Innocent people going about their daily lives. 127 people dead. And many more are injured and traumatised. There is no justification for this.

In the name of what… a rose lies perched on a window inside a bullet hole. We cannot condone this. There is likely to be a racial stance taken in the aftermath of this in the words of President Francois Hollande, this ‘act of war’. People will refuse point blank to try to grasp an understanding in some cases. And they are likely to paint people with the one brush. But there is something interesting happening right now in the aftermath of this massacre in Paris, that is, solidarity shown through social media. The power of this platform is astronomical and has stood in good stead in this hour of need. Acts of love, hope, courage, kindness and help are to be seen, attempting to restore our faith in humanity. Open doors, shaded profile pictures of the French flag, the peace symbol which included the Eiffel Tower as an integral part by Jean Jullien. And most importantly a safety feature to ensure families know that their loved ones are safe in the City of Love.

Social media has brought people together like never before on an international scale. It could have been anywhere. But last Friday it was Paris. Paris we are with you and you are with us.

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