Is Computer Literacy as Important as Literacy?

Over the past few days I have stumbled around from one side of the internet to the other in search of a way to make money on the internet. 

‘N00b!’. 

Yes, okay, I understand that that first sentence alone shows my lack of understanding of all things computerised. The internet doesn’t have sides. It’s infinite. Or is it round? I… I just don’t know…

It turns out that in order to fully monetise my blog I have to put extra ads onto the site, and, I really don’t want to do that. 

But as I scroll though pages and pages of ‘How to make money blogging’ posts, I start to despair slightly. I would love to be able to make a living blogging. I just want to be able to write all day – surely there is a way to do that! 

Well yes, there is… or no… depending on… Well, put it this way – the blogs making the money are, ironically, the ones teaching you how to make money.

Damn. Got my hopes up there for a second.

But it did also get me thinking. There is money to be made from the internet. Most things are run through the internet. All my recent job applications have been through the internet. Most of the books I read come from the kindle store and and 90% of the news I read is online (since the times raised their paper price from £1 to £1.20, I refuse to buy it on moral grounds). 

Even this blog is absolutely reliant on the internet! 

I am currently writing this from my local library. The internet at my parents house (who I am currently staying with as part of the ‘family holiday’ that is the British Summer). 

My parents have described it as one of the worse things in their life. Let’s just think about that for a second. Just fifteen years ago, my family owned one desktop – they barely used the internet. Now every member of my family has laptops and phones and God knows what else. The extent to which they are reliant on the internet it almost scary…

Almost.

But don’t think that it is necessarily a bad thing.  I do however, think that people, particularly the older generation who have grown up with the internet and social media dominating their lives, need to embrace it. The world has changed forever. Now it is time to change how we educate people in the world. 

I think that there need to be classes in Social Media and computer navigation need to be taught in schools. 

YES. Computer skills are often taught, but in relation to the tools typically considered useful in an office.

In 80 years, there will be nearly nobody who has not grown up in part of a social media world. Things have changed forever.

Let’s embrace it!  

 

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Magic On The LA Metro

I have found something magical about the LA metro.

The reasonable issue to raise here, would be – why? Why, Guy, would you say something so ridiculous? The metro smells, it’s noisy, it’s never on time, there are people begging everywhere, you are bombarded by looks from other passengers which seem to say, ‘You don’t belong here’. 

I think you have to look past all that. 

The most interesting people in the world, seem to ride the LA metro. 

Just last night, I saw a man playing a Tremolo Harmonica. I was wearing my headphones at the time, but as the song I was listening came to an end, I heard faint noises ‘outside’, took them off, and looked up. 

There I saw a large man, no older than 35, with dark hair and a thick, bushy beard. He looked at me and smiled. He was guarding his backpack as if it contained the secrets of the world, on his lap, and playing a harmonica.

He began to play a  medley of songs, ranging from ‘Hey, Mr Tambourine Man’ by Bob Dylan, to ‘Love Me Do’ by the Beatles. This guy knew how to play,

I looked up and observed the carriage. Nobody else was paying attention, Gazes were fixed on phones, headphones were inserted. A wall between themselves and the outside world had been created. I was alone, listening to a concert all for me, on the Metro heading to Hollywood Boulevard. 

At Hollywood and Vine, the man put down his harmonica and smiled at me. He hoisted his precious backpack over his shoulder, and walked happily out of the train.

Hey Mr Music man, play a song for me. 

There is magic all around us. Take out your headphones and listen to it.