Are You Watching the Watchers?

January 26, 2009
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I am not a parent but when I think back to my youth, I remember asking questions. I remember asking why things are certain ways, how I could do them differently, and what the alternatives really meant.
To an extent, my critical thinking led me to and stemmed from a gifted children’s program where some friends […]

Thank you for reading my article. If you enjoyed it, please consider receiving more strategies and tips by feed reader or email. If you use Twitter, I am at @ariherzog.

I am not a parent but when I think back to my youth, I remember asking questions. I remember asking why things are certain ways, how I could do them differently, and what the alternatives really meant.

To an extent, my critical thinking led me to and stemmed from a gifted children’s program where some friends and I gathered every weekend at a private secondary school to build mummies, recreate history stories, and appreciate new styles of music. Some of my fondest memories about the why of the world were molded during that Saturday morning educational program.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise when my brain shifts back to that 20-year-old program after reading about educators questioning the purpose of school at an education convention.

All the distinguished members of the panel who spoke tonight are very successful people who seem to have gotten where they are in spite of school (at least when it comes to K12) rather than because of it.

They all spoke of one or two teachers who turned them on to their particular field or of other pivotal experiences that were outside the normal process of what we call “school”.

None of them spoke lovingly of the lectures they sat through, homework assignments, or the standardized tests they had to take.

What does the girl in the photo think of school?

What does she say? Is anyone asking her? Is anyone watching her?

A study released this month by the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth indicates 41% of 536 U.S. college and university admissions departments are blogging and social networking. That statistic may not surprise you, but what if I add that only 13% of the Fortune 500 and 39% of the Inc. 500 are doing the same?

When the majority of digital natives–the Millennial Generation, ages 14 to 27–believe companies are using outdated technology affecting workforce retention, are the companies listening? Are they watching?

The UMass study indicates 55% of college recruiters believe social media is “very important” to future strategies, but the data is more telling when 44% of Inc. 500 managers feel the same. Surely, companies recognize that high school seniors are blogging, right?

Shannon Paul writes about the changing mindset that companies must adopt:

…companies are better served by understanding how information travels along the social web. Whether anyone likes it or not, information no longer travels in a straight shot from company to journalist to public.

Instead, it bounces back and forth between all three. It’s just as possible for information to swell up from the public to the journalist to the company, or from the public to the company to the journalist. Or from the journalist to the company to the public and back again.

As a child, I watched the world. I asked questions–and my parents, teachers, and friends helped provide answers.

In time, I answered my own questions through trial and error. When I rummaged through a kitchen drawer and found a rusty knife, didn’t think it was sharp and decided to test the blade against my skin, the scar remains on my right hand as a reminder of my poor decision but a testament to the naivety of youth.

Who’s watching the watchers?

Photo credt: ~K~

Thank you for reading my article. If you enjoyed it, please consider receiving more strategies and tips by feed reader or email. If you use Twitter, I am at @ariherzog.


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