The internet is everyone’s addiction. From kids to grandparents, they use it to do just about anything. The internet allows you to access the digital world. With a smartphone, you can send a video to China and receive a tweet from the President of the United States.
This digital world can seem overwhelming to the incarcerated. We have to wait for CDs to come out or TV shows to air at a specific time.
Here is a way to prepare for both reentry to normal life and introduction to this new digital world of the internet-based cloud: Play games. Scrabble and Sudoku, two of the most popular games played on prison yards, can prepare you for the digital world.
Scrabble is played by two to four people and uses wooden squares of the alphabet to spell words and score points. Each letter is assigned a specific score.
Sudoku is a puzzle consisting of a square grid subdivided into nine boxes, each with nine squares. Some of the squares contain numbers, and the object is to fill in the remaining squares so that every row, column and box has numbers one to nine. Each number can only be used once per any row, column or box.
In the past, life has tended to function like Scrabble – uniform, continuous and sequential. The game requires a player to begin at the center, place new tiles alongside those that are already on the board, and wait their turn to play.
Much of today’s world operates like Sudoku. You can begin anywhere and focus on what you want.
Digital technology allows you to look at any content in several ways at once, just as Sudoku allows you to consider a number as part of a row, column or box. You can fill any square in any order — the whole puzzle is available at once, like a digital cloud.
This digital cloud is just another way of describing content that is stored and accessible on the Internet. The cloud makes it possible to binge watch an entire season at once or view an old episode of The Vampire Diaries, Sleepy Hollow or The Simpsons. It allows people to download and watch shows like Game of Thrones or EMPIRE at their convenience or stream and watch them live.
With digital music, you can create playlists of your favorite songs and listen to them in any order instead of needing to buy an album. By subscribing to a music service like Spotify or Apple Music, you have access to their vast music catalogs.
If you want to listen to Beyoncé or U2 music, just access the cloud. Like Sudoku, you can start anywhere. You can search for all their songs (the big square), a particular album (a series of rows) or each of their number one songs (a series of columns). In the digital cloud, the choice is yours.
The old-school technologies are still available. You can still listen to the radio or buy a CD. But most people now access content on their smartphone, tablet or computer. Fewer people are buying the actual physical products. Many successful technology companies, including Pandora, YouTube and Amazon, rely on this behavior. Problems are solved and work is done in the digital cloud.
If you want to prepare for release, train your mind to live in the digital world. Play Sudoku.