This may be a cliche but, seriously, I’m thankful for the collaborative opportunities that the Internet has enabled me to have. I’m talking about meeting interesting new people, sharing ideas, getting feedback on them, co-creating things with others, building a team, all through an internet connection. There are some people I’ve never met in person, yet I feel as though I’ve known them for years because of the Internet.
Let me tell you something. Before I decided to pursue computer engineering, I was convinced I wanted to be an architect. But, when I had my first interaction with the internet at the age of 15, I was hooked. I saw a world of possibilities; not only did I have access to an unlimited amount of information, but I also saw that architecture was going to somehow be computer aided at some point in time.
Although I’ve been on the web for almost half of my life, I don’t take it for granted.
The reason is simple: because I still see a lot of people that are not using it to its full potential, I’m aware of the advantages that is has given me.
This is sad because the Internet, if used to its potential, can dramatically accelerate the lives of people who are not connected. The way this relates to innovation is simple: how do you stay relevant?
The answer is incredibly simple, yet hard to do. To stay relevant, you have to reinvent yourself.
From this perspective, people can reinvent themselves when they discover what the internet has to offer them. Of course, nothing is certain. There are millions of people, that have access to the Internet, who use it leisurely. There are all types of scenarios about how certain types of people use it, as well as how they could use it.
I’m also thankful because the potential for impact is greater. To a certain degree, we have unlimited opportunities.
Here are three reasons why I’m thankful for the evolution of the Internet:
Reason #1: Learning
The potential for learning is incredible. Not only do we have free access to knowledge in all types of content formats from people from around the world, as well as some of the best universities, but we can also shape the knowledge ourselves. We are all knowledge consumers, creators and shapers. No longer are we waiting to be spoon fed knowledge that someone else decides we should receive. We can pursue and shape it.
And, if we are sharing, we also learn. This is a basis for the business model of most social media companies today.
Reason #2: Impact
I’ve certainly taken advantage of the interconnected nature of the Internet. I’ve collaborated with people from around the world, most of them I’ve met through Twitter — Twitter’s serendipitous nature has dramatically changed my journey.
Reason #3: History
The Internet is like a time capsule for peoples’ memories. Whatever we put into it will stay there as long as the applications that hold our data exist. Though we’ve always had pictures and videos, never have our creative abilities been amplified than they are right now. With every picture, video, pin, tweet, bookmark we share through our varied networks, we are telling our life’s story.
That’s it for me. What are you thankful for?