Month: October 2013
The Internet certainly has shrunk the world and created a culture of sharing that is unprecedented. The use of the Internet has also changed the technology landscape and made global collaboration as easy as click a button on a computer’s mouse. The fact that I am participating in a Doctoral Program offered by a Jesuit College in Omaha Nebraska while living in Austin Texas is a prime example of how the internet has opened doors that would not normally exist. The same opportunity of using the Internet to attend Creighton University from Austin also allows me to be employed by a global organization and work from home. I am truly living the benefits of what Mr. Friedman describes as a “flattened world” (Friedman, 2007).
Using technology has improved my life but has also created some fears as the workplace becomes more globalized. Mr. Friedman discusses my same fear that I will be part of an outsourced position at my company (Friedman, 2007). It is amazing that India has created a market for all of the grunt work that can be done remotely and has many start-up businesses with the intention of keeping Indians in India versus going to America for jobs. The cost of living in India is difficult for European and American workers to compete with and it is natural that businesses will try to cut operating costs. My previous job was in the Semiconductor Industry and there was rampant outsourcing to India and China during my time because the companies could pay engineers there ¼ of a U.S. engineer’s salary. Eventually the industry imploded due in part to the overpricing of goods and I left for greener pastures in the Biomedical Industry.
Although a lot of outsourcing of mundane jobs are going to India and China, there is also an increase in jobs requiring great expertise beginning to grow in those countries. Mr. Florida discusses the peaks, hills, and valleys of technology in his article and where those jobs requiring highly skilled individuals are located. The majority of the peaks and hills do reside in Europe and the U.S., but there growing economic strength in India and China to start creating technology hubs (Florida, 2005). The example of the Chinese city of Dalian shows that China has enough capital resources to begin to compete with the west (Friedman, 2007).
Watching Mr. Shirky’s TED video also was very eye opening. The impact of social media and the continued shrinking of the globe is both exciting and frightening. By being able to have millions of people with something as simple as a smart phone share situations that are taking place in real-time, events can no longer be regulated by governments or professional media (Clay Shirky: How social media can make history, 2009). It is now possible to see event unfold and make a personal decision about how that makes me feel about the situation versus what someone else thinks I should feel. That type of freedom is empowering. Without the Internet, none of this type of information exchange would exist. The one things that ties all three sources I have read for this week’s assignment together is Mr. Shirky’s following question: “How can we make the best use of this medium?” (Clay Shirky: How social media can make history, 2009). I am hoping that the next seven weeks of this class will help me answer this question.
Clay Shirky: How social media can make history. (2009, June). Retrieved from TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_cellphones_twitter_facebook_can_make_history.html
Florida, R. (2005). The World is Spiky: Globalization has Changed the Economic Playing FIeld, but hasn’t Leveled it. The Atlantic Monthly, 48-51.
Friedman, T. L. (2007). The World is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. New York: Picador / Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
I am a student enrolled in the Ed.D. in Leadership Program at Creighton University. This blog is starting as a course assignment and I hope to make it much more. Get your popcorn ready because the show is about to begin!