Congratulations to You

Your outstanding year has been recognized. If no one has yet to commended you, let me be the first to say, congratulations on you being named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

Quite frankly, I agree with Time. I feel you had a year like no other, and here’s why.

Your impact – like any Person of the Year’s – was broad, deep and traversed new territory. You influenced the thoughts, beliefs and actions of millions. You have become more aware of the world around you, furthered the sharing of knowledge, become more open about your life, been able to positively influence other people’s lives, and it has all been thanks to… you, and you… and yes, you over there.

It should also be noted that there were some negative things that you back there were up to. Time’s Person of the Year has not always been a positive being. Some years, some fairly nasty individuals have had a resounding impact on people, culture or the globe. This year, some of you, brought your hatred out into the light and it was accessed by millions. You were able to put people down with ease by using means never before available as you hid in your home. You shied away from real human contact more and more often (it’s so easy for you just to text them). Also you exposed the entire world to your atrocious use of language and spelling.

Take heart though, in my mind your impact was more positive than negative. You brought your thoughts, opinions, humour and dreams to life using so many different media. You shared your creations and were open to feedback. You stayed in touch with family and friends from around the world in ways like never before. You met new people from places you had never been and will never see. All the while you took the methods of expressing you content to new heights as well.

Interestingly enough, in this same year that you had such an impact, I did many new things as well. No doubt I made a lot of mistakes and could have done more positive things, but there’s a lot I’m happy about. This blog got started. I picked up a digital camera. I began commenting on people’s content online. I even tried to positively correct a bit of open content online. I stayed in touch with people in real time on the other side of the world. I tried to keep my horizon wide when selecting software and services – and encouraged others to do the same. I spent the time and effort to get a lot better at slideshows, a medium I’ve used for a while but needed to update myself on. Your inspiration helped inspire me to try these cool things. That’s why I’m glad to see you recognized by Time.

You and I have had a lot of firsts this year in the world of communcation, technology and culture. We’ve learned a lot: what to do more of, what to avoid, and what to improve. We are pushing the boundaries of creating, sharing and communicating. This is a good thing. We must engage in the evolution of our society and not sit idly by while it washes over us. However, along with this new level of engagement comes a new level of resonsibility. We need to recognize that emotions and feelings are still best conveyed and received human to human. Much can be mistaken and construed in our new methods. As we explore the new territory we must keep in mind that the others we are sharing with, learning from and communicating to on the other side of the screen are humans. They are very much like you, and there are times when they will need a real voice, or a real touch, or a real ear in the room with them. Like many other aspects of life, there is a need for balance here. You and I will need to find it together, as we continue to build on all of our accomplishments this year.

Congratulations to you! I expect we’ll see even greater things from you in the future.

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