Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How Will They Grow Up?

I was rummaging through my closet the other day trying to find space for all the notes and work I accumulated over the years at school when I stumbled upon an old box labeled “Sean’s Stuff”. I was curious as to what might be inside so I decided to pull the box down and uncover the mysterious “stuff” I had in my closet.

What I found melted my heart. Over the years my Mom had collected some of my earliest pieces of schoolwork. There was a book that documented my school pictures from about kindergarten to grade four and I even got to look over my first report card (straight A’s of course).

But one item in particular took the prize for the most interesting piece of memorabilia – a painting I “painted” on paint shop. When I was a dapper young lad I remember I used to sit and play on paint shop all day. I would make the screen all one colour or use a spray can to swirl all across the page. On this particular day I decided to draw me driving in a car. I’ll admit, it’s not the most exciting picture, but it was the fact that one of my parents were able to search into the computer’s history, find my painting, print it, and put it away in a box to find years later that makes this picture really special.

I must have been experimenting with minimalism because the proportions of the person and the car were all very small in proportion to the space I had on the monitor. But, like my minimalist artwork – it seems as though most things are getting smaller. The computer I designed the original work on was gigantic compared to my laptop, I used to have a large/bulky rotary phone, a huge record player with two speakers, tape players that clipped onto pants (would never fit in a pocket), Nintendo was a big grey box, and Oprah’s hair made her look at least four inches taller.

Technology is getting smaller and faster. In fact that seems to be the trend. If we can make a smaller microchip that holds more information or can process information faster – technology gets better. In my lifetime (24 years) I have witnessed a huge change in how society interacts with technology – from the inside – meaning my own life has been changed during this whole process.

What I am left with is a question I am not sure I have the answer to. “How will they grow up?” Meaning: how will the children of today grow up in a society where technology has traveled light years in a short period of time to where it is today? I see babies with a Blackberry in their mouth and apps that are child friendly on the iPhone.

How will technology influence their lives? Are there any signs out there already? Is their interaction with technology for better or worse?

How will they grow up?

Friday, July 9, 2010

As we Grow

As a child growing up in Brampton I spent a lot of time playing outside with friends. We would go to the park, play tag, adventure in the woods, ride our bikes along paths, etc. There was never a lack of anything to do as long as you had your friends with you.

As I grow older my friends and I find it hard to keep up with the same activities. No one is really interested in going to the park, our stamina for tag is lost, adventuring in the woods has turned into one big trespassing fine waiting to happen, and we have all pretty much traded in our bikes for cars.

What does a twenty-something do in Brampton?

I have become a personal fan of getting together over coffee or drinks and just talking. There is something calming and enjoyable about catching up with an old friend or continuing conversation with the friends you see more often. It’s therapeutic in a way. The more I listen to my friends the more I reflect on my own life and formulate new ideas on how to live it.

Recently, I was out with a friend and we were talking about the days ahead and being excited for upcoming events. When my friend brought up a very interesting point. I am not sure of the exact wording, but it was along the lines of don’t get too caught up in the exciting days ahead or you might miss out on the exciting things happening right now.

Recently, I celebrated my 24th birthday. I remember when I was younger I used to count the minutes before my birthday two weeks in advance. This year I applied the new enjoyment strategy and realized that birthdays will come and go and you should enjoy it like any other day. Thanks to some great friends – this year’s birthday was fantastic. A very busy day filled with lots of conversation and love. A day I will never forget.

So, now I am 24 – just graduated from school – and I still consider myself to be a youthful person. My recent additional qualification class has confirmed this assumption. I look around the room and while I view my classmates as a group of peers - I can see in their expressions that to them I am still the “youngling” – the freshest of the fresh.

At the same time I was having a conversation with a friend on my soccer team this week when he asked me how old I was. After my reply – his face dropped. To him (an 18 year-old) I was beyond old. For the first time in my life I had this deep connection with how my parents must feel when they look at me.

Another good friend recently got engaged to his long-time girlfriend he met on vacation years ago. She is a beautiful person and has moved to Canada from Australia to help get their life together before they move to Australia. A small group of friends went out last night to celebrate her arrival and on the way home she asked a very interesting question, “what is everyone’s plans for New Years?” New Years!? It was funny to hear, to say the least, but not completely unwarranted either. The general reply was – in Canada we only really get two months of summer and we weren’t really even thinking about New Years yet.

While the interest in the days and events to come will always be there – I think it is important to slow down and enjoy each day as they come – especially if you are worried about something in the future. Seymour Schulich in his book Get Smarter writes, “Ninety per cent of what you worry about never happens. Usually the negative things in life that befall you are things you have never thought about at all. The 10 per cent of the worries that materialize are rarely as bad as your anxious mind envisioned.”

With that being said – live, love, laugh – enjoy life – one day at a time.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mashable's #SMdayTO

It’s hard to find at first. We all know where we should be. We’ve checked in on foursquare, twitpic-ed cupcakes, and @ mentioned everyone we know. So, how do you find an event you’ve only heard about online? I asked the bartender.

For me, #SMdayTO was an opportunity to engage in the world of social media. I don’t own a Blackberry, Android, or iPhone. I have an LG Keybo. I tweet from my Mac Book, I don’t own a multi-million dollar venture capital in Silicon Valley and I don’t know much about graphics or web design, but what I do know is the value of talking with people.

When I tell friends I use Twitter I am often laughed at – the price I pay for being a social media fan I suppose. But, #SMdayTO was different. Using “twitter” in a sentence was socially acceptable vernacular – I was home.
I woke up this morning - reached into my pocket - and found an Independent Contractor, a Culinary Expert, Post-Graduate Students, a Web Developer, and a Growth Coach/Culture Catalyst. Who are these people? I am not sure if I will ever really know, but last night we were all together for the same reason – social opportunity.

I woke up this morning and found two new followers on twitter. Two people I remember meeting and sharing conversation with. I’m not sure if I will ever meet these people again in real-life, but I am certain I will catch a tweet here or there – someone (me) needs to learn how to use filters.

A big thank you needs to go out to @Dan_L for organizing last night’s festivities and if you haven’t already you can add me to twitter @SeanRaposo.

See you all next June 30th, 2011.