I admit, I fell into a digital rabbit hole that consumed my life for what is going on to 18 hours. I am officially on #giraffewatch. Before going to bed last night, I had my second screen streaming the live giraffe cam and I would check on the expecting mother every hour or so. Then, I happened…the stream went down on YouTube at 7:30 a.m. I was now in my thirteenth hour of #giraffewatch and I felt that the day would be worthless. Great news is that is came back and has a permanent bookmark on my second screen.
While my plight to see the live birth of the 150-pound, six-foot tall calf seems slightly insane, this tale details the future of the Internet. As David Weinberger asks (2011) is the Internet making us smarter or stupider, I have to reflect on my personal adventure of the past 18 hours. I have tried to will the giraffe to having a contraction (I swear, I have seen her belly move); I have Googled facts on giraffe births (questioning); I have commented on the Facebook Live stream (sharing); I have watched other YouTube recommended videos and watched the entire circle of life take place in Africa (filtering); I have been amused by the trolls discussing that giraffes birth striped eggs (screening); and I have donated money to the animal sanctuary where the mother resides (interacting). These 18 hours demonstrate the insane amount of information that is available at our fingertips and how access to this information can motivate us. I had an entire adventure and learned more about giraffe births my only using by screens. This encapsulates the beginning of the second industrial revolution!
The thirteen hours of my #giraffewatch were driven by artificial intelligence from the recommended videos and searches on Google to the constant notifications of Facebook friends who were also watching the video. As I reviewed the videos from Corning, I realized that my giraffe obsession could only be maximized if I had interactive and adaptive glass all around me. I was ready to sign up for my glass house immediately.
While this is a comical example of the digital impact on our daily lives, it also has merit on the world in which we live, learn, work and play. Leaders must embrace not only today’s technologies, but plan for the emerging ones. As a marketer and a leader, it is important for me to understand the technologies that target audiences are using as well as those which can help motivate and support team collaboration. I can only accomplish this by realizing (as suggested by Kelly, 2016) that my own intelligence is only performing on limited planes. Technology allows me to connect and interact with others that can fill my own symphony.
Yes, I fell into a digital rabbit hole last night and seemingly let my responsibilities appear misguided, but I think we have to do that sometimes to help foster collaboration and open our eyes up to something new. Even with the explosion of artificial intelligence which helps organize and search engines that filter news feeds, we still need thinkers and dreamers to imagine how to continue to use and evolve the technology in the future. An effective leader must be balanced in both.