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A [Cheeky] Guide to Internet Citizenship

Eyes-only by Populux !!!, on Flickr

The Internet* is a big, vast place populated by people the world over. Some even say it’s “people all the way down.” Most of the people I know spend a large portion of their time on “teh intarwebz,” so I think it stands to reason that we can consider ourselves Citizens of the Web, and with great citizenship comes great responsibility. So what are the traits and duties of a model Internet citizen? Here’s my cheeky advice, and for the cheek-free lightning edition, just read the headers. But where’s the fun in that?

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The Craft of Giving

Surprise by Thomas Hawk, on Flickr

The holiday gift-giving season is upon us, and with the advent of Black Friday, lines will be forming in the wee hours at the big box stores with groggy shoppers eager to trample their neighbors for a chance at a discount on any number of gift items. And as much as I loathe the press that each Black Friday gets, it’s an alluring offer—I’ll admit that just last year we succumbed to deep price cuts and took advantage of the opportunity to upgrade our small, dying television. That said, we popped into Best Buy at eight in the evening and it was a relatively painless process (and they had enough inventory left for us to make an informed decision).

Home electronics aside, there’s more to holiday shopping than flash sales and long lines. In fact, I think the federal initiative for Small Business Saturday gets the shaft if they’re still encouraging massive spending the day prior. But while the politicians and economists in Washington are ruminating over the looming “fiscal cliff” and trying to come to an agreement on how best to create and re-establish jobs, I firmly believe that focusing our individual efforts right here at home gives us a chance to make a real difference in real lives.

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When I Was a Child, I Was a Jedi

Blue Balloon by sbisson, on Flickr

Whatever happened to your five-year-old dream? I think you know what I mean—that longing to do something amazing, adventurous, and fearless. Nearly everyone I know had some sort of dream, whether it was becoming an artist, an astronaut, a deep sea explorer, or, in my case, Superman.

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Hearts and Minds: The Great Big Why

Orion Nebula by Mr. Physics, on Flickr

The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds. —John F. Kennedy

I just finished watching the 2008 documentary series When We Left Earth, which dives into the NASA missions from the Mercury project—putting a man in space—to the International Space Station. The eight-episode series highlights President Kennedy’s call to put a man on the moon within ten years, chronicles the successes and failures of the space program, gives a heart-wrenching account of the space shuttle Challenger (1981) and Columbia (2003) disasters, and tells the story of man’s quest to reach beyond the bounds of the atmosphere and explore the great beyond.

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The Antisocial Network, or, My Facebook Breakup

facebook by markus.pacher, on Flickr (used with permission)

Facebook has deteriorated the way we interact with other people and convinced us that we need to spend all of our free time staying “connected” with our “friends” through their network. And for the last week, I’ve been trying to come up with one solid reason why I like using Facebook.

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