The Changing World: The Importance of Leading with a 'Global Village' Mindset
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The concept of a global village is not a new one. Indeed, the world has become more connected with video chat, instant messaging, texting, social media and other platforms, but with this freedom comes concern over privacy and how our information is being used and by whom. There is also a greater sense of global unity and the importance of using private funding for public good beyond one’s local area into global initiatives. This cultural shift in social media has been noted by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, who now only views Facebook as both a “a public social network for connecting with everyone you know, discovering new people, ideas and content, and giving people a voice more broadly” and a “place for people to have clear control over who can communicate with them and confidence that no one else can access what they share.”
Below are a few items to consider for living our best lives in a connected world, when we both protect ourselves and help others to achieve and grow.
1. Both adults and children need to be concerned over our privacy and who has access to our information. The answer is not to give up sharing and that isn’t even possible.
The best defense is to find workarounds and learn to accept that we live in a connected society and things have changed. Technological advances have created new media, new ways of interacting and have created a need to be aware that we are being tracked via surveillance cameras. No matter where you live your medical, educational, banking and other information is in someone’s computer and perhaps accessible and shareable. We need to decide which data we will expose to others, and which compromises we are willing to make for the sake of convenience, discounts, and other perquisites.
2. Consumer data is used to predict consumer behavior, develop a marketing strategy, and provide targeted content. The best defense is to not share information, to keep a high level of privacy settings and be proactive with whom data is shared.
There is now an entire data ecosystem through which data is collected, stored, traded, and analyzed. The collection of data can be a major concern. As consumers we are becoming dependent on our devices for productivity, communication, convenience, and entertainment applications. We shop, bank, share photos, play music, track our steps and blood pressure, read books, watch TV and videos, store medical records, make donations, research, make travel arrangements and so much more with our devices. When we meet someone new we can easily “Google” them to find background information. Each transaction is tracked and there are now “data brokers” who collect and sell data to other data brokers, retailers, and others. In addition to tracking transactions, there are also data brokers who search public records and create databases from that information. Data brokers also scour social media sites to see consumers’ posts, likes, and shares. Past behavior is used to predict future behavior, including what one may purchase or click on. The more one interacts with one’s devices, the more information that is collected.
3. We need to find ways to maintain the value of our individual identities and not become mere statistics.
There are applications that are available around the world, giving consumers the ability to own, verify, and earn from their personal data. Until about a year ago, this was unheard of. We live in a world where more people have mobile phones than they do cars and computers. The concept of having control of your personal data is one that is impacting the world and has quickly become a popular tool to do so. For businesses, this is also a much better way to access data, since advertisers and marketers are also able to ensure the information is accurate.
The flip side to a connected world means the ability to impact and improve the lives of others in our communities and around the world. When we think about the information that is shared about us online, there is also the opportunity to build a positive global reputation while helping causes that are important to us.
4. There are many worthwhile organizations, choose the ones that mean the most to you.
Whether your interests are in sports, education, health, mindfulness, youth, elderly, nutrition, carpentry, etc., there are organizations that arrange charitable giving in many forms. Giving can be done via monetary donations, time, physical labor, or in whichever way speaks to your heart, head, and wallet.
While we’re living in a global village where connectivity and our definition of privacy are changing, we cannot give up on our humanity and our value as individuals. We need to work to improve the world and to leave it better than we found it. As the saying goes, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” While they seem disparate.