Friedman (2007) learned from Jaihirth Rao that “Everyone has to focus on what exactly is their value-add” (p. 15). What do we have that no one else has to offer? Florida (2005) noted that “We see its effects in the political backlash against globalization in the advanced world . . . urban and rural . . . now have very different, often conflicting political and lifestyle values . . . creating destabilizing political tensions” (p. 51). Friedman (2007) answered Florida’s (2005) critique when he noted that “those who get caught up in measuring globalization purely by trade statistics—or as purely economic phenomenon instead of one that affects everything from individual empowerment to culture to how hierarchical institutions operate—are missing the impact of this change.” (p. x). Shirky (2009) pointed out that when people have nothing left to lose they fight back against tyranny, as in the example of how the Chinese people protested after they learned of the bribes that public officials took rather than have schools constructed according to safety codes. All of this reminds me of “The Hunger Games” trilogy that have riveted the attention of the American public. I believe it has struck a chord with people, as they see the few who have everything and the many who struggle to live. Friedman and Florida’s works are still relevant today as the United States congress has shown recently that it is willing to shut down government to prevent access to healthcare insurance for all.
In the workplace, we have continued to craft social media policies as technology advances. As Shirky (2009) recommended, we are trying to find out how to make the best use of this media. The “expressive capability” (Shirky, 2009) of one displeased customer can spread everywhere in a quick fashion via social media. I work at an undergraduate residential institution of higher education. The Master’s degree programs have embraced on-line classes, but the undergraduate classes have limited on-line availability. Students are asking for more on-line classes. Despite resistance from some faculty and staff, I believe more on-line classes will be added in the future.
My town was hit by a tornado in early October. We were fortunate that it hit the industrial area of the city and missed the college and downtown. Social media was an important tool in the aftermath of the tornado, as the cell towers were overwhelmed. It allowed quick communication between families and friends. Some people in their haste to be the first to upload images of the tornado took unnecessary risks. At the college, we had to reexamine our disaster response plan, as the storm struck too fast and the text based notification system was not used. Perhaps the lesson here is that social media is powerful, but other methods of communication are vital as well.
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.
Shirky, C. (2009, June). How social media can make history. Retrieved from TED: