I’ve always loved technology. Strangely, my first exposure was a complete disaster! I was composing a term paper the night before it was due. (I know, my first mistake– sorry, Ms. Jones!) …On a laptop I’d never seen before, without knowing how my work was being saved. After I finished my masterpiece, I promptly lost all of my work. I restarted from scratch because I didn’t have a proper written outline (again, you taught me better, Ms. Jones). I was up into the wee hours recreating my work and spent almost as much time trying to print it out.
Yet, after a really bad experience, I still knew how cool technology was and could be! In fact, thirty years after my first electronic term paper, I answered a phone call on my watch! A little stunned, I immediately flashed back to the Dick Tracy comic strip featuring a police detective communicating over a two-way radio on his wrist. Though I answered a phone call on my watch, I don’t think I looked as quite cool as Dick Tracy. (Of course, I was without my trench coat and fedora!)
What about technology in your life and work? Is it frustrating? Empowering? Does it make you:
- More or Less Efficient? Over fifty years ago, Intel’s co-founder, Gordon Moore, correctly predicted the number of transistors on a chip would double every two years while the costs were halved. Technology is smaller and cheaper and being used in amazing areas: health, science, communication, travel, education, and work, etc. I am more efficient on my computer. Fingers fly, screens flash, and my work get done much faster. Yet, I can spend hours on an Excel formula automating calculations or concatenating text. Where are you lulled into a sense of efficiency?
- More or Less Personable? Consider a group of people sitting at a table, all looking at their phones. Are they discussing research and racing to verify facts OR are they individually mesmerized by unrelated social media feeds? Again, it is not about technology, but about how it’s being used. I use technology to appear more personable. Connecting with people through binary code, ones and zeros, the language of the computer, is not exactly personable. What norms or rules apply to technology when you are with people? During team meetings? During family meals?
In 1946, Dick Tracy’s canary yellow outfit was iconic, as was his wearable tech. In his case, technology made him cool. In my case, technology makes me reconsider what is and isn’t making me more efficient and more personable. But I still love it and I can usually manipulate it successfully.* Today, we get to experience technology as it expands at a glorious rate! Embrace what makes you more efficient and more personable. And stay cool!
* Excluding the time, I accidentally called 911 while trying to turn off my watch. Of course, in subsequent versions, the manufacture created more separation from the Power Off and Emergency SOS buttons. I tried to hang up, but it was too late! The operator called me back to politely confirm my safety. “Terribly embarrassed,” I insisted, “but very safe!”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She hosts global masterminds, called Synergy Groups, for REALLY BUSY Christians leading with powerful confidence and humble hearts. She works with high-performing leaders focused on organizational effectiveness by refining strategy, inspiring teams, and delighting clients. Michelle specializes in the areas of information technology, project management, franchise management, and business as mission. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 21 years.