Monday 26 November 2018

VSLWJ-1 Where Are You?

I am calling this series The Very Short Long Winding Journey.
I will use the acronym VSLWJ
This is part 1, titles Where Are You?

To all the new members of Digital Africa, I welcome you.
The best way to describe myself is that I am a social scientist that has become very much into technology, and especially computer/internet/Web technology. 
Digital Africa is a collective vision I have with some friends, to help Africans of all ages and genders to discover the many opportunities I have found as a result of purposeful use of the Web. 

We want to help you learn the best way to use the World Wide Web to your advantage. 
I am not saying that the way I am suggesting is the only way to do it.
But I am saying that this way has been very very effective for me. 
If you know other ways, I will still suggest you add this to your arsenal. 

I am not claiming that everything I write here is the gospel truth and that you must obey them as the law. You are free to doubt and challenge my claims.
In fact, I hope you all do, because that is how we sharpen our brains: by listening to various view points and challenging all of them frequently.

So let's go!

Google Is Not Your Friend. 

You Are Your Friend.

Google is doing it's own thing. It doesn't care about you or me. It is just doing what it was programmed to do, which is to serve information.
There are rewarding and empowering types of information. But there are also damaging and destructive kinds of information.
Google can lead you to find info that can land you the wonderful job of your dreams. Google can also lead you to some terrorist websites that have led to the deaths of teenage girls in Europe. 

So let me ask you, Where Are You?

Everything you know and can do today are things that you gradually trained yourself to know since your childhood.
You might be thinking that your teachers trained you. But the truth is that most of the effort came from within you yourself as you were paying attention to the subject those teachers were teaching.

But then, why don't I understand Geography the way I understood Economics?
Maybe it was because I immediately loved hearing about Demand & Supply, and I instantly got bored when they were talking about glaciers. 

Sometimes somethings are more difficult than others to pay attention to, but that doesn't mean that those things are inherently harder than the easier ones you paid attention to. 
What it really suggests is that the new things that you are learning have a relationship (either similarities or interesting contrasts) with some of the things you already know inside you.

So where YOU ARE NOW is what will determine how difficult or EASY it will be to go to where you wish to be. 

So the next question to you will be, what do you WANT TO BE?

You pick up your smartphone, you open your laptop, you go to Google, then you search. For what?
"Chelsea vs Tottenham football?"
"Kyle Jenner dating Wizkid?"
What are you looking for?

Whatever it is, you constantly go to the zero moment of truth to find MORE about that thing. And you do this for the other things that interest you. This is the current reality the technology has brought the world to today. And it is not only Google. Facebook, Whatsapp, Youtube. All these apps serve you information in different ways.  

If you go to Facebook, it is because something kind of curiosity was on your mind. Maybe you want to know what your friend is saying today. Or you want to see what is happening in your Whatsapp chat group. Which ever way you look at it, you are still looking for MORE information.
When you open your Whatsapp, it is not to look for Rotimi's update. Because you are NOT thinking about my updates. You go to Whatsapp to CONTINUE what you are already familiar with. You keep up with people that you have already know before. People who are interesting to YOU! 

The zero moment of truth (ZMOT) is that EASY PLACE where computers/phones have made information instantly available. If information is power, then we have become many times more powerful than people of many decades ago. But what kind of power are we going after? That's the problem.

Google is a ZMOT. Youtube is a ZMOT. 
However, Facebook CAN also BE used as a ZMOT. Whatsapp CAN BE used as a ZMOT.  But these two primarily bring information to you. 
In fact, in most cases, the info you get on Facebook and Whatsapp usually leads you to search Google or Youtube for clearer understanding. 

And yet, this doesn't mean that the info you get from Google or Youtube is always the correct answer. Not necessarily. Getting the right answer usually requires more than one attempt. 

But the crux of the matter is that these platforms give you MORE information about some things YOU are ALREADY LOOKING for.   
ZMOT is a place where you go looking for answers (for information). On Google and Youtube and Quora, you go looking for answers. On Facebook, Whatsapp, etc, you might ask your friends or connections to answer a question you have.

Finally, in the next part of this VSLWJ series, I will show that whether it is football or entertainment news or technology you are learning online, there are good ways to learn them, and there are bad ways to learn them. 
Your use of Zero Moment of Truth can help you or hinder you. This is coming in "VSLWJ-2 How You Got There"
Please stay tuned.
The little children now have the potential to LEARN many times faster and more thoroughly than older generations. They can become geniuses so quickly that we would be astonished. This is because of the power of the learning tools they will be exposed to as they grow up.  

Meanwhile, I have introduced a term here. 
Some of you are probably hearing of the Zero Moment Of Truth for the first time today.
I recommend that you read more about it and start building your curiosity about future technologies.
I also want to recommend for future purposes, anytime you come across a new term in anything you are reading online. Quickly right click on that term (the link) and open it in a new window, so that you can read up on that new term, understand it (you don't have to finish reading the whole thing), then go back to continue reading what you were reading with the term in it. Hence, during my learning journeys online, I may start reading one article, but end up reading 5 articles in the process.

So like I said, this is about helping you developing the purposeful reading tools and a personal learning system that you can use to EMPOWER YOURSELF!   

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. 
I am very VERY open to contrary opinions, so please feel free.

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