THE BLOG

The Amazing Race: Confucius Meets Twitter

09/29/2011 05:27 pm ET | Updated Nov 29, 2011

The Amazing Race came back with yet another exciting season premier this weekend. From the start we saw a lack of preparation by 'the showgirls' that almost landed them a trophy for the shortest lived contestants on The Amazing Race. It all started when Kaylani didn't secure her passport, dropping it at a gas station less than an hour after the race began. Luckily, a passerby Tweeted that he had found a passport belonging to an Amazing Race contestant and got convinced by his followers to hand deliver it to LAX. Strangely, this was a harbinger of the upcoming challenge in which contestants played a game of 'telephone' at the Taipei Confucius Temple where they had to listen to a recorded saying by Confucius and then repeat it precisely for their next clue.

Confucius said, "In all things success depends on previous preparation. And without such previous preparation, there is sure to be failure."

Even though Confucius spoke nearly 2,500 years ago, his words are as applicable in this digital century as they were when he first spoke them.

In this week's episode, we saw firsthand what can happen if a team fails to prepare. But for the kindness of strangers connected to Twitter, Kaylani and Lisa would have been sure to fail. And therein lies the amazing facets we find in the season premier of The Amazing Race. Every aspect of our life is interconnected through and into the digital world. Every step we take online has some type of impact on our footprints in the real world. With each step we must ask ourselves, "Are we preparing for future success when acting in the present moment?"

When you post a photo on Facebook, can it affect how a future employer might perceive you to be resulting in a lost job opportunity? When you get a security update, do you hit Remind Me Later, leaving all your personal bank information at the mercy of a hacker? When you sign into Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail, do you use the same password, setting yourself up for a major phishing attack? When you register for a new site, do you skip the privacy set-up process, letting others you would never share with see all your personal thoughts. When you store your private photos, do you put them in a folder clearly marked private, making them highly visible and desirable for others to open?

Every act we take online impacts our safety, security, and privacy. Take a moment to consider how your actions today will impact your future success. This was true when Confucius lived in a world without an Internet just as much as it is true today in a world than can't survive without an Internet.

For more information about online safety, check back here every week or visit my website.