After upgrading my iPad to iOS 6 last week, I lost the Google Maps application which was replaced by Apple Maps. Others have also complained about many inaccuracies in Apple Maps; however, even more than missing an old application, I feel betrayed by loss of the community that refined Google maps for many years now. Although Apple’s application is technically superior with newer three dimensional map imagery, there can be no substitute for Google’s accurate and complete information. Much of the information available on Google Maps was crowdsourced by users, including me. I personally submitted the names of Heritage Halls to Google maps. I feel that although the new application surpasses Google’s technologically, but the fundamental lack of openness in its development has stifled many who have contributed useful geographic data that Apple Maps is missing such as the location of streets, businesses, and public facilities such as tennis courts, and international data.
Feeling sick? You may blame germs. Did you vote last election? You may blame your Facebook friends. The New York Times published an article last week about a new Social Contagion study that found that Facebook friends have a statistically significant influence on your voting. The researchers randomly selected two groups of Facebook users. One group upon logging into Facebook was shown pictures of their friends who had voted and the other control group did not. Turns out that the experiment proved that the first group was more likely to vote on election day than the control group. Soon mothers will say, “choose your Facebook friends carefully.”
After reading a New York Times article, I feel grateful I have the freedom to choose my internship because Chinese students do not have that privilege. In Zhengzhou, China, university students are forced to intern at FoxConn, the maker of the iPhone for Apple as a requirement for graduation. According to Li Quang, the founder of Chinese Labor Watch, “it is a very busy time with the new iPhone coming” Students work overtime, and schools close because they need to meet the requirements of mandatory internship. FoxConn has officially denied this. Work is a good thing, but there needs to be a balance. Working over forty hours a week is inefficient: people are more prone to accidents, and there is little or no time to study. I feel grateful to live in a country that allows my the freedom to choose my where I work and where I study. Although workers gain technical experience, many who are not technical students are forced to work in an irrelevant career.
In the new Interactive Web 2.0, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging are tools for the prudent and wise. Through sharing experiences and collaborating with others we grow. Mormon.org harnesses the power of social media by coalescing profiles and photos of members. Visitors can search through the profiles by location and race to find people that they can relate to. In this way the testimonies of the restored gospel are more personal than simply informational material because people are interested in knowing who Mormons are, and are not interested, at least at first, in their beliefs. If visitors would like, they can leave comments or chat live. This allows people to locate true wisdom straight and actually interact with real people. This process of collaboration is more personal and marks the departure of the internet from only an information superhighway to truly a global collaboration of experience and a pathway to wisdom. If wisdom is the sum of our experience we may find ourselves largely left behind if we ignore the new wave of social media.