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Who The Digital Are You?! New Rules for Life in a Digital Age

We recently bought you the first Fresh Thinking guest blog from Tomi Ahonen, and we enjoyed it so much that we couldn’t wait to bring you the second, from our other guest speaker,Tony Fish!

Tony is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and strategist, and is in the top 10 of The Observer and Guardian newspaper’s ‘Future 500 rising stars’. His latest book is My Digital Footprint: a two sided business model where your privacy will be someone else’s business, and unsurprisingly he has some strong views on the subject!

“Mobile is to the digital age what the wheel was to the stone age. By its very nature, Mobile puts an interface with the digital world into the hands and pockets of the masses globally. Mobile is THE widest-reaching technology in the world today. And as such has enabled a plethora of situations, context and opportunities for digital engagement and interactions. But do we truly understand what we’re getting ourselves into?

Today’s reality is that you leave tiny digital traces of where you have been, when and how often, using what device, and who with, each and every time you interact with technology. So what are you doing to manage your footprints in this digital age?

We are all digital citizens of the world which means we all have rights and responsibilities. There is a great emphasis on the protective rights we want – such as new and updated law and regulations that define privacy, security and protection. However, it is how we each define and act on our responsibilities that will shape our personal engagement with digital services and technologies.

Let’s think about current digital services, such as social media, as a game. For example, if Twitter is about getting the best quip of the day or providing some useful info, and Linkedin is about proving “my network is bigger than yours”, then Facebook is about showing that “I have a more interesting life than you”.   With every new game, there are new rules and responsibilities, but do we know what these are?

Before looking into any new rules it is worth confirming that all of the old social rules are still valid, relevant and have not been washed away by mobile.  A few examples of old rules that are timeless include:

  • Don’t gossip, make things up, slander, steal, pinch or lie
  • Have evidence and be professional, factual, accurate, honest, and transparent
  • Engage and treat others how you want to be treated yourself
  • Opinions are personal. Be gracious, open, respectful and accepting of differences

 

Without a doubt, some modernising of law is needed to reflect the advances in democracy, understanding and technology.  Examples of rules and regulation that would appreciate some new impetus include: Privacy, Identity, Liberty, Harm, Consequences, Ownership, Access and Rights.

New rules for the digital age

While waiting for the law to catch up I’ve been gathering my own set of rules of engagement for today’s digital age. Here’s my top 10, an eclectic list of guidelines around managing and protecting your digital footprint and personal data:

  1. Digital Footprints are what you say about yourself, what others say about you and what data says about you
  2. Appreciate that your digital footprint is worth more than your salary
  3. Everything you do can be recorded (stored). Sensors will be in all digital devices soon – ask yourself why and what use will the data be and to whom
  4. Reputation is all you have and your name is a good identity – so don’t abuse or lose either
  5. Change your password to Facebook, Twitter and bank accounts etc before you change your boy/girl friend/ partner
  6. Have several personas. This is not a sign of madness and you don’t need to justify them to anyone
  7. Branding is now personal and it is the new black
  8. Don’t sack/release/ make redundant the person, and then be held hostage, by the person who has the login/password for your corporate fan page, group, twitter account until many people have control/access
  9. Provide someone (you trust) with the knowledge of how to access your accounts/ data after you die and what you want done with your data/ digital footprint. Be aware – doing so will go against every term and condition you have signed
  10. Levels of damage and harm from digital engagement are currently lower that you may think”

 

We’ll bring you more of Tony’s new rules in his next guest blog and  you can hear more of what he has to say at our events on 1st November (London) and 2nd November (Manchester).

Numbers are strictly limited so if you want to be a part of these inspiring and thought provoking conversations then register your interest now at our dedicated Fresh Thinking site. We hope to see you there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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