Ioften think of the movie “Back to the Future” when I think of the 32 years I’ve spent in the newspaper business.
It was an era when computers were still a relatively new innovation to the business. We still used film cameras and many newspapers designed pages through the “paste-up” method of cutting sheets of paper, running them through hot wax and affixing them to a large sheet. Now you know I’m a year shy of 50.
As for information, we relied on telephones. If our work required research, we turned to libraries – either in the office, or the customary public facility.
As for the “Google,” it sounded akin to a baby’s words. In 2017, it’s one of our most vital tools.
The “Information Superhighway” – the formal term for the Internet – has changed life as we know it, in far too many ways to list in one column.
It’s a beautiful tool which opens us to so much information, all at a fingertip on a computer or cellphone. I don’t know how I operated without it for so many years. It also has its share of drawbacks, something we hear about on a regular basis today.
It’s the main reason I was so glad to see Google come to Denham Springs Junior High to outline the issues regarding Internet safety.
Hackers, scam artists and sexual predators all figure among the biggest threats to young and old online. At the same time, much of what we post online says volumes about us.
Discussion of hackers and scam artists comprised much of the assembly, but it also focused on what adolescent will post online.
More than any other devices – except, perhaps, drones – represent the far-reaching power of “Big Brother” the way the Internet does.
As one speaker told the students, negative or inappropriate posts can have an effect on job opportunities and even college enrollment. We’ve already seen negative posts lead to the downfall of entertainment, media, sports and political figures.
It’s a message the instructors emphasized throughout the hour or so they spoke in the assembly.
The challenge comes from impulse – many will post items online without a second thought. A deletion may save it, but nothing is a guarantee.
Personally, I wish a lot of people my age and older would have heard the messages in the Google seminar. Through Facebook and other social media, we play witness to all the maladies in one’s life – problems with their job, a fight with the spouse/lover/ex or even a lurid description of an illness that could turn a sailor’s stomach.
In many ways, the adults are every bit as guilty as the kids – yet the older generation tends to be a bit more stubborn.
The advent of the Internet and cell phones has put adults in the precarious position of learning about technology from their kids. They know all the latest shortcuts, all the neat little bells and whistles of a smartphone.
It was nice to see junior high school students hear about the perils of the Internet. Some parents and grandparents could stand to learn the same lessons.