If you’ve read the About page for Cloud Parenting, you will have some idea of my background and the ideas I have for the content on this site.
But, for the first post on a blog site, I think it important to go into more depth around why it has been created.
The Internet and a Wheel
There can be no denying it, the Internet is one of the major inventions by we humans. An invention that could rank up there with the Wheel.
Everyone knows wheels, we use them everyday, on cars, bikes, trains, buses, etc. We all know how wheels work: You get a round thing and something to spin it on, an axle. To move something big with ease, attach a few wheels to it.
Now, imagine if the wheel had been invented in the Internet age. You have a car that has four wheels sitting on your drive.
Now, you don’t actually own the wheels on your car. They are owned by someone else, a company (or an individual). But even though the wheels don’t belong to you, you still expect them to be there when you want to drive somewhere in your car.
Do you remember, the first time you used the the car? Did someone give you a long page of legal text to sign before you could even get into the driver’s seat. Did you read the whole document. Or did you just sign “I accept” at the end and hurriedly get into your new car?
That company that owns the wheels, they have a lot of control over them. Sometimes when you come out your house and go to get in the car, they wheels have been ‘upgraded’. Maybe they are white walls now, or have yellow hub caps, or the alloys have changed. Do you care?
Maybe one time you go to drive there is someone there with an update to the terms and conditions to use the wheels. Do you check through the whole document this time, or do you just quickly sign “I accept” again and get in the car.
Had you read the lengthy legal document you might have read that when ever you, or your family go somewhere in your car, using the company’s wheels, the company will record exactly who is in the car, exactly where they sat, and where you all went on the journey, even recording the start and end time, and how fast you drove.
Your Children and the Wheel
Perhaps you own a bike with some wheels too.
Perhaps your children have bikes as well.
The wheels on the bikes are different to the wheels on the cars. But perhaps the different wheel companies by their rubber from the same single company, lets call it the AmazoogleBook Rubber Company.
Because their rubber is used in all your wheels, the AmazoogleBook Rubber Company also records who uses the bikes, and where they go, how fast they pedal etc.
Also, the AmazoogleBook Rubber Company makes the rubber for your smart watch, and the rubber button on your smart doorbell, and the plastic on your smart key, for your smart door lock.
Now the AmazoogleBook Rubber Company knows what time you and your family set your alarms in the morning (maybe for going to bed to), your family’s heart rates. AmazoogleBook has lots of smart data engineers and computer algorithms for them, and so they can make educated estimates when you’re all asleep, when you’re all awake, when you’re walking somewhere, when you’re out jogging, when you’re children are playing in the back garden, or sat playing computer games, or reading books.
AmazoogleBook also have a good idea who your friends are, who your children’s friends are, how often you talk to them, how close they live to you, even what you say to them. They know when you’re family are speaking on the phone the smart watches are connected to. Thanks to the smart doorbell and smart door locks, AmazoogleBook knows when some one comes to your house, and when you children come home.
How much do you know about AmazoogleBook? They make rubber don’t they. That’s the only way they make money isn’t it?
What does AmazoogleBook do with all the knowledge they have about your family?
But… I Really Need Wheels on my Car
Remember that time you really needed to use the car and the wheels were there, due to maintenance, or a puncture had spread to all for tyres?
We need the wheels. We need the rubber the wheels are made with.
OK, enough with the wheels analogy now. Hopefully you get the point.
We need the internet. We need it for work, shopping, education, and play.
Lets Take Control (as best we can)
So what do we do? Do we:
- Just sign “I accept” and carry on?
- Turn off all out computers, smash our internet connection box and start wearing tinfoil hats?
- Learn about what is going on, and most importantly help our children understand how the technology of the inter works and how to stay in control on the internet?
You can probably guess I’m going with number 3 in this blog. Together we will look at the state of modern technology, good and bad.
Nothing is perfect, nothing is nirvana. Not even modern technology (anyone who tells you something is perfect and/or a nirvana works in marketing!).