Technology Is a Choice - #MindfulTechWhen It Comes to Technology…Use What Works For You

The pace of new advances in technology is incredible, and that’s exciting. Who doesn’t like the idea of new developments in science, medicine, business and any other field? Sure, the blizzard of new ideas can be daunting, but the benefits brought by many of them are wonderful. I wouldn’t dream of slowing things down.  I do, however, want to sound one caution. Many of these innovations come with an almost arrogant sense of self-importance, saying, in effect “this is the new best way, and you need to adopt it right now.” Often, thought leaders and ‘influentials” do just that, either because they truly appreciate the difference the new idea makes, or because they want to protect their “cutting edge” image.

I believe that as new technologies emerge, it is important to make conscious decisions as to whether or not they truly improve your life before you commit to them. Every individual is different, and the truth is that some technology will make your life better, and some won’t. Our #MindfulTech series is designed to help you make such decisions wisely based on your needs and preferences, and don’t let those technologies dictate your actions.

The Shopping List Saga

I remember many years ago being pleased with the “notes” feature on my first smartphone. Hey, I could just type in my grocery list there, and I’d have it right with me. No old-fashioned paper list necessary. Hah, I’m so contemporary! Then my cell phone died. I tried to re-create the list from memory, but forgot several things – important ones, apparently, as I learned when I arrived home.

This is a pretty simplistic example, and I must confess I still put the shopping list on my phone plenty of times. I just make sure my phone is always charged. But it helps make the point that technology should be evaluated as to how it fits into your own lifestyle, preferences and habits. Some people like e-readers, others prefer traditional books. Some stream movies, others prefer to pop in a DVD. Some read magazines at the doctor’s office, while others play video games on their phones.

Technology Can Be a Paper Tiger

Not long ago, I shared some interesting statistics about how people react to messages that come to them electronically, as opposed to in a paper form. A great many preferred the feel of traditional paper, and responded more favorably to a piece of direct mail in their hands than to another “blitz” style marketing message in their email inbox. This suggests that many companies are being very shortsighted and hurting their own cause when they automatically do everything electronically, simply because they can.

They put the newsletter into an email instead of printing it. Brochures to leave behind? Nah, just post them on the website. Have they saved money? Probably. But have they considered the impact it has on their customers? Probably not. This is the type of mistake that #MindfulTech can keep you from making.

Do you have any examples of some kind of technology or “breakthrough” advance that didn’t really help? Perhaps it didn’t save you the time you expected, or just didn’t fit in with habits you were not willing to change. If so, I’d love to hear about them. Give me a call. Meanwhile, I’ve got to go make a shopping list. Can I borrow a pen?

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