It's Not Aimed At Anyone

Thank You Toastmasters Swakopmund

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Tweeting for Twats: Technological Terrors That Plague Us




ABSTRACT



Recent thoughts on the social, economic and emotional impact of cell phones on a modern society.

The problem as I see it:


In a modern society it seems as if our mobile phones have become smarter than our youth of today. Based on evidence gathered it has become appallingly evident that modern day children lack adequate focus and discipline to take on the challenges of a multi-cultural world on an international level. Technological advances has, and continues to, make great leaps forward in areas of communication, information as well as education. Technology has overall been seen as a benefit to our daily lives and hopefully will continue to advance our collective understanding of life and the universe in which we live. However, technology used without forethought or care leads us to our current state of affairs in which we are failing our children and their education on a daily basis.  Our youth are exposed to excessive violence, cyber-bullying as well as shallow marketing techniques to convince them that they are worth less than their friends because they don’t play Pok√©mon Go on an iPhone.

Purpose


The purpose of this report is to show that our society’s over focus on digital lives on our cell phones contributes to an “idiocracy”. We continue on a downward spiral towards mediocre lives which adds nothing to our children, their children or the world that surrounds us. This report will highlight those elements that need the greatest attention in an attempt to bring children back to a world where they can freely socialize and grow into healthy adults without the need to ask google for permission. This report will draw a stark comparison between the different generations and their accomplishments and showcase the accomplishments of those who managed to grow, live, learn and contribute without the constant personal digital assistance of our modern day. The report will explore alternative solutions to this crisis as well as investigate more moderate and temperate solutions without the need to give up technology altogether.

Focus

    • 1. The focus this report will be on the negative effects of the increasing amount of time spent on electronic devices such as cell phones and tablets.
    • 2. The instant gratification of playing games lowers educational development over time.
    • 3.The negative effects of decreased social standing amongst teens based on their mobile device.
    • 4. Desensitization of children due to unrestricted access to explicit YouTube videos and online literature.

     TIME CONSUMPTION


The rise of “always connected” cellphone use in recent years has been a growing concern due to the nature of a possible information overload. With global social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram there is never a time that status updates or information shuffling does not happen.

The unending amount of status updates has reduced the average privacy of the individual as well as groups as a whole. With a constant barrage of information streaming through our mobile devices it becomes all too easy to neglect our everyday lives, always waiting for the next tweet or Facebook comment to pop up onto our screens from friends, foes and family alike.

While the consequences to this are varied and financial benefits to having uninterrupted access to news and financial reports for the businessman is possible, negative consequences of constant exposure to violent images or images of any excessive graphical nature can leave young adults feeling depressed, disconnected with reality or even desensitized to morally objectionable material.

While adults are largely responsible for themselves, limitations on the use of electronic devices must be placed on those who are either too young or mentally not capable of taking responsibility for their growth and development. Limitations such as time, age or even location can be introduced with immediate effect. Parents and caretakers can introduce rules in the household that electronic devices such as mobile phones may only be used when the child has reached a certain age with additional restrictions such as used only under the supervision of a trusted adult and must be used only within certain hours of the day such as an hour after school and an hour before going to bed.

With modern technology it has never been easier to make new friends and build new and strengthen existing relationships over vast distances. Sending and receiving of time-crucial documentation or needing a quick decision can be done in the blink of an eye thanks to a good Internet Service Provider with a fast internet connection. International borders are not the obstacles that it once was and new job opportunities based solely online have emerged. All this can be done with a small device that you carry around in your pocket. However, with the advances of cellphones greater threats to our ethnical, social, financial and personal safety continues to plague us at every turn.

FaceTime™ is not restricted to good friends. Cellphone technology can be used by anyone, whether their intentions are for good or ill. A racial slur on Twitter is just as easy as an “I love you” text from a loved one. Finding resources for a school project online can result in a better overview of the topic at hand or, due to the unrestricted and unmoderated, nature of the internet could lead to increased confusion when having to sift through both fact and opinion. It becomes all too easy to make derogatory comments online while safely hiding behind a cellphone screen.

Such unscrupulous behaviour is becoming all too frequent and gives a negative impression of certain applications and the internet as a whole. Great works of Shakespeare, Chekov, Dostoevsky are reduced to a few meager lines of text on a screen or over simplified with a fully trimmed down version easily obtainable online which becomes counterproductive as these works were assigned with the hopes that they would stimulate young minds into becoming freethinking adults. Children would rather play Clash of Clans than play catch reducing their spatial awareness and social interactions in the real world.

Schools need to introduce more activities that are less focused on winning and losing and more focused on social interaction, physical activities that makes the youth engage more with the world and their community which will help to contribute to a better society. Parents must make time for outdoor adventures and not leave the raising of their children to Cartoon Network reruns on YouTube. Questions about why things happen and how they happen should be encouraged. Children must be tasked with finding the answers through logic, reason, exploration and research without resorting to asking Apple’s Siri. Valuable “codes of conduct” regarding fair use, fair play and overall fairness needs to be instilled from a young age. The easy way out, doesn’t lead very far.

CELL PHONES USED BY TEENS ON THE INTERNET


The unrestricted access of cell phone use has slowly grinded the creativity and self-reliance of our youth to a steady crawl[3]. The internet in its alluring gleam has made many young men and women fall victim to social predators and while this is absolutely tragic it has become almost commonplace. The very nature of technology cries out for social justice and change, however due to the desensitization factor little to nothing ever changes. The average laptop is more powerful than all the computers combined that put Armstrong on the moon, yet it has been reduced to a tool for poking one another on Facebook.

Without the ability to gain knowledge for one self, no true creativity can ever happen and so every facet of human development will remain in a state of perpetual arrested development. The motto of the Roman Empire was expand or die and it is no less true today. When a society does not achieve new things, conquer distant deeps and skies then we will remain a culture where our phones are smarter than our children. Without the self-confidence to stand up for what is morally right then we have already lost.

Without seeking new challenges or attempting to find alternate resources of energy our planet will run dry as we slowly devour the precious minerals all for the sake of a few more gigabytes of memory on the next iPhone. Without logging off from the internet then the amount of exercise the average person receives decreases, leading to a rise in obesity levels of teenagers which will lead to an increase in health risks and lower life expectancy. With an entire world of knowledge at the touch of a button then is no more need for original thought or ideas.

It is recommended that instead of trying to work against technology, new and inventive cellphone apps should be developed aimed at teenagers online that focuses on the stimulation of cognitive and reasoning skills[4]. There should be no quick fix available through either entering a specific command or in-app purchases that allows the player to avoid the difficulty. A system could also be implemented that rewards an internet user for spending time offline and away from the keyboard.


KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE



 With a world that has expanded beyond our physical borders and into the digital realm, nothing is off limits or beyond reach. While this can be of great benefit to many it leaves our youth dazed and confused with too much information and no friendly hand to lead the way.

With access to a world of knowledge easily accessible from your back pocket it becomes too easy to simply search for the knowledge that you seek rather than accumulating it over many years of trial and error. With the modern day cellphone one will never have to learn how to read a map, figure out simplistic mathematics while calculating a waiter’s tip and never be able to find your way home should you ever get lost. Relying too much on technology will eventually limit our understanding of the world around us as we will no longer feel the need to ask the question…Why?

Without excessive use of the internet we’ll train our children to think for themselves and not rely on their cellphones for all the answers. They will be able to grow up as well-adjusted individuals capable of free and original thought and not be limited to the regurgitated meanderings of social media users.


Class lessons needs to be put into practice. The average school child learns, geography, biology, mathematics, language use and numerous other skills, however the wealth of information simply disappears without a practical tangent to relate to. A form of structured play could be introduced both at schools and at home that will engage the youth with facts and data that they have studied during school hours. With a practical element to all forms of study the information learned will quickly pass from the short term memory to the long term memory and be readily available throughout their lives at a moment’s notice.

CONCLUSION

Most of us would instinctively agree that it is bad for anyone under aged to spend an alarming amount of time on their mobile devices and has been linked to poor memory retention. It is time that our society take our lives back from the technological terrors that we carry around with us without ever thinking twice.

Something to think about...


[1] Cell Phones Negative Impact on Society | Teen Essay on What Matters. 2016. Cell Phones Negative Impact on Society | Teen Essay on What Matters. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.teenink.com/hot_topics/what_matters/article/200172/Cell-Phones-Negative-Impact-on-Society/. [Accessed 09 August 2016].
[2] gamesradar. 2016. 15 games that reward you for NOT playing them | GamesRadar+. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.gamesradar.com/games-reward-you-not-playing-them/. [Accessed 10 August 2016].
[3] Log In - The New York Times. 2016. Log In - The New York Times. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/sunday-review/addicted-to-your-phone-theres-help-for-that.html?_r=2. [Accessed 09 August 2016]
[4] Cell Phones Negative Impact on Society | Teen Essay on What Matters. 2016. Cell Phones Negative Impact on Society | Teen Essay on What Matters. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.teenink.com/hot_topics/what_matters/article/200172/Cell-Phones-Negative-Impact-on-Society/. [

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Hic Sunt Dracones





You get handed a map, the paper seems ancient and its thick coarseness feels heavy in your hand. Taking your time, you open it with the utmost care. You mentally berate yourself as your hand starts to tremble with the expectation of the new frontiers that await you, endless possibilities. You take a final breath, open the map and – nothing. Nothing beyond what you see around you has been marked.
Imagine for a moment that your entire world has been reduced to that map. Anything beyond is unknown and uncharted, endless blank space with the words Here be Dragons written as a warning. Hollow words written by empty minds stopping anyone willing to brave the dark and expand their horizons. If you thought life was as simple as a straight line from the moment of your birth to the end of your days then you need a paradigm shift. Life's not a straight progression from A to B.

It's more of a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey-wimey mess.

Some days you combat the darkness with sleight of hand and a whole lotta levity and other days there are incredible people that you thank for the remaining scraps of your sanity.

Nothing worth doing comes easy and nothing worth having is free. There will always be dragons; forces unseen and unheard that’ll try and stop you. The road to the stars is a difficult one to travel but thankfully there are those few, those happy few who don’t let the fear of facing dragons stop them from putting one foot in front of the other in search of new horizons. Proudly they stand up and look their dragons in the eye and shout “NOT HERE”, “NOT THIS DAY”.

When Armstrong and Aldrin were charged with setting foot on the moon they didn’t look to the heavens and say “That’s too far!” There be dragons.

When Hillary and Tenzing stood at the foot of Everest they didn’t cry “We’ll never make it!” They threw away their map that warned of dragons ahead and started anyway.

Riaan & Vasti Manser freely admit that there were many days that they wanted to quit, but they didn’t and therein lies the rub.

You could make the argument that these names are gods amongst mere mortals, how could anyone expect to compete with that level of greatness.

I met two elderly ladies named Jenny Jones and Margaret van Tonder on 5 December 2016 and they stunned me. Jenny had saved up all her money to afford a ticket from London to Cape Town to visit her friend Margaret. Upon arrival, they simply reached the conclusion that they should do a road trip to Namibia. They have very little savings and only a beaten down Toyota but they set off anyway. Experiencing dangers at every turn, they ran out of petrol, had near misses with snakes, got lost, had a tyre blow out, but still they kept a smile on their faces. 

Ordinary people who ignored the signs that told of dragons because the experience of it was worth every setback.

So many times I hear that you wish you were the person to the left of you, or the person to the right of you. You look at their lives and wish it for your own. It is so easy to fall victim to our self-centred society, a society filled with empty minds and empty hearts. You wish for that one’s state, and that one’s art. But, you have mistook them all this while. They live with bread like you, they have wants, they’ve tasted grief and they too need friends.

Throw away your map that reads hic sunt dracones, face the unknown, face the dragons head on. I’ll not tell you to have no fear, of course you should be afraid. The unknown is scary business and the signs warning of dragons are all around you. 
Moving to a new career, making new friends, ending an old relationship or starting a new one fills us with trepidation and truth be told you might get hurt. But you cannot cloister yourself away, stop living your life because of what might happen -- for that is no life at all.

Instead, hold aloft your hands and reach out for a better tomorrow, for your impossible dream and don’t you stop; don’t you dare stop until the dark turns to day.

Come your tomorrow, you will tear that map apart and turn it out of service. 

HERE BE DRAGONS?! HA! You already knew there were going to be dragons. You also know that you have the power to slay them.

Reach for the stars. Not the ceiling.

The power is yours.


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Life: All Hail The Static GLow


I have come to the conclusion that Hollywood thinks that I'm an idiot. I've had my suspicions for a while now of course, never daring to challenge the status quo but Hollywood's absolute lack of luster of late has made me finally draw the line and say "What the hell?!"

I look at the blank faces around me all staring at the screen, none raise their objections or give a hint as to their suspicions that something isn't quite right. In what furnace was thy brain that one can simply accept the blatantly predictable nature of cinema. Those Hollywood bastards aren't even trying anymore. Is original thought truly dead that we've reverted to reboots, remakes, prequels, never-ending sequels, all with the old and tired formulaic plot.
E.g. Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love then boy screws up momentously and spends the rest of the movie trying to get back in her good graces.  

Because it is Hollywood, Planet Hollywood, they do things differently there. Things like physics for a start. The type of physics where Batman's boomerangs can cut down 20 of Joker's boot-licking lackeys (with no sign of slowing down) and magically return (unsullied). As the owner of two returning boomerangs that have seen some use during my time in their native land I can unequivocally declare that Batman's boomerang is nothing but bulltwang. It doesn't work that way. 

Hollywood has the type of physics where laser pistols have recoil. This is troubling because if a device shoots light then why should it have recoil? "What the hell?!" Of course a device that shoots light would give one the idea that light would still travel at 300,000,000 meters per second...so how the hell do people continue to dodge it?

Where is that sense of excitement that I felt in my younger days? The sense of something new and wonderful. Films lured me in with the promise of boldly going where no man has gone before (split infinitives notwithstanding). I am tired of stereotypical villains and cardboard cutout heroes. Villains that want to destroy the world - while their still on it or heroes that can catch a plane in mid air yet somehow struggle to break down a door.

I want things to make sense again. I want my fiction to provide me with a means of, not only escaping from - but escaping to as well. I want to escape to a place of magic and wonder, of mystery and intrigue and I want to come back better for my time away. 

Let's waste no more time arguing over what good fiction should be and let's instead teach the young to put greater value on good fiction. Let's explore beyond the boundaries of what we know and venture boldly into the wide blue yonder. Throw away your maps. Ignore the signs that read Hic sunt Dracones. We have always known that there have been dragons. True fiction, proper fiction, tells us that dragons can be slain.

ad astra per aspera 
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Speech: Parting of the Ways


While trying to clear some space and sorting out my files on the laptop I decided to upload a few of my speeches. Perhaps there is still some value in these words.

This speech was written to honour our former principal as she left our good company in pursuit of her field of dreams.

Dear Miss Marthelle,

Your time at the Dolphin Schools must feel like a jumble of mixed emotions and confusing paradoxes.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a time of joyous jubilation and dreading despair. But you faced it all and you still stand tall.

Every day, you accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and never miss a beat in between.

While your time with us is nearly done and you prepare to take on the whole wide world, you can say with pride that you survived the Dolphin Schools.  

Wherever you go, yearly on the vigil you will rouse your neighbours and say “Tomorrow is the day I survived the Dolphin Schools,” then will you strip your sleeves and show your scars and say with pride “These wounds, I got fighting for the Dolphin Schools.

Throughout your time with us you made us smile, you made us laugh and you made us cry – many times.

But you toughed it out beside us through thick and thin and taught us to be brave in times of change and challenge and excel on the battlefields of academics, sport and culture. To never be cruel nor cowardly and to never give up, never give in.

Miss Marthelle, thank you so much for your life, love and leadership. May the sun always be at your back and the road rise to greet you and the future warned at you your approach – cause there’s a storm a comin.


Always remember that no matter where you go or how far you run, you can never escape our love and you will always have a home in our hearts.
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Speech: Never give up and never give in





While trying to clear some space and sorting out my files on the laptop I decided to upload a few of my speeches. Perhaps there is still some value in these words

This speech I gave the morning of 23 February for the Elementary School assembly.



ASSEMBLY 23 FEBRUARY 2015


Before I even start. 


Before I’m even going to greet you I want you to stand up.

UP youse mugs. NICE!
Now Stretch out. To the left. To the right. Now Touch Your head. Good.
Now touch your friends head. Nice!
Now sit down.
Good Morning Dolphins!!!
Excellent. Now we’re cookin’.


I have four things that I want to talk about today and hopefully you’ll remember them when I’m done.  
Respect
Opportunity
Okay
Failure

If you’re having trouble remembering then just remember the acronym ROOF.

The First thing is RESPECT.  Respect (High voice) Respect (Batman voice)
Say it with me.

RESPECT for others, respect for yourself and respect for the world around you.
If you have a respect for others, then others will respect you. It’s that simple.
But if you tease your classmates or throw little blocks at them GRADE 3s, then you can soon find yourself all alone without any friends.

Don’t be that person.

If you want to get anywhere then you’ll need people who will help you in times of trouble. Remember the three little pigs.

When the big bad wolf came knockin on Mike the pig’s house and said LET ME IN (BATMAN VOICE) What did Mike the Pig say?

Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin.

Didn’t know that pigs have chins but there you go.
Anyway the wolf blew down the house and Mike ran all the way to Bob’s house. Mike and Bob, working together put on locks, they block the door they did everything they could to make the house stronger. Walter the wolf came and did his usual routine and tried blowing down Bob’s house. But this time it was far more difficult because Bob and Mike worked together to make the house stronger.

After Walter the wolf blew and blew till he was red blue and purple in the face the house blew down. Bob and Mike ran to Sam and all three worked together to make the house so strong that Wolfie Walter couldn’t blow it down.

But the story could have ended in another way. If Mike was a jerk and if he didn’t have respect for others then Bob would never have let him in through the door.

Next is Opportunity.  Everyday, every week, every month and every year brings us so many opportunities but we don’t take it. If you have the chance to do something then take that chance and do it. Even if it’s hard work. There is opportunity in everything even in a crisis.

When written in Chinese the word crisis is composed of two characters.
One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity. Because to them they are the same thing. Nothing worth doing is easy and nothing worth having is free. The best things always takes effort and it is always worth it in the end.

Next thing is Okay. Or rather saying Okay to more things. Involve yourself more in the lives of friends and family. If a friend asks will you come fishing with him then say Okay. Even if you’re the worst fisherman in the world and the very idea of spending time away from your xbox seems ridiculous, you’ll remember the trip for years and years while the xbox game is long forgotten the next week. Those kinds of things makes life worth living. Enter competitions. Go out more. Make new friends. Try new things. Say OKAY.

Last is Failure. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes or not succeeding in the first try.  We learn more from mistakes than we do from victories.

Who knows the story of the three wise men? How they saw the star over Bethlehem and brought gifts to honour the birth of Jesus.
Who knows what they brought?
Gold, Mehr and Frankinsince.

Now, when I was in grade 1 – which was so long ago you need higher maths to figure it out. I was in a play about the birth of Jesus and played one of the wise men.
When my turn came I delivered my line flawlessly
“I bring you this gift of gold” perfect. The boy next to me said
“I bring you this gift of Mehr” no problem.

Then my friend had to deliver his line and he forgot what it was
We waited patiently for about a minute while the Sunday school teacher was pulling out her hair mouthing the lines Frankincense , Frankincense

Then he yelled. “Oh right. Frank Sent Us.” He got it wrong. The fool. Everybody was laughing at him. The next year he was back. And everybody teased him “Ah look, its Frank Sent Us”

He didn’t care, he was there to do something that he wanted to do and no amount of teasing was going to stop him.

Never give up and never give in. If you want to get something you want. Then try and try and try.

Remember ROOF.
Respect for others.
Take opportunities
Say okay more
And be afraid to fail.


Have a good week everybody. 
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Speech: To the Future, and Beyond!


While trying to clear some space and sorting out my files on the laptop I decided to upload a few of my speeches. Perhaps there is still some value in these words.


This short speech I wrote for one of my students who needed to say something as part of her induction in the Rotary Club. Due to excellent writing and an hour of coaching she received a standing ovation for her performance.


NELAGO JOHANNES: ROTARY INDUCTION SPEECH

Good evening to one and all,

And an especial welcome to Mr. Buddy – our supervisor,
To our principals for your loving care and attention
Mrs. Einbeck (from Duneside High School)
Mrs. Yiglaar (from Walvis Bay Private High School)

As well as Mrs. Theart (From the great Dolphin School). And to my fellow members who are eagerly awaiting to be inducted into this prestigious society.

I believe I can safely speak for everyone when I say that we are honoured to have you all here with us.

Life is so busy these days that making time for others is considered a luxury. A luxury that most simply cannot afford. So your presence here is precious gift to us.
Baie Dankie, Ons Waardeer dit.

Your support in what we do shows us that what we do is important. This is a great day. Just take a look around. From different schools we come marching, in the contrasting colours of our uniforms we stand here together, 

ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL…
HUZZAH!!!
(LOOK EMBARRASSED)

Sorry – I got carried away. United we stand as the bright light in the face of shadows that plague the world around us. We will pave the way to a better tomorrow not just for our city but for our country and our world.

Friends, Family, Countrymen. Lend me your ears. I call on you to make the world of tomorrow, happen today.


Thank you.
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