I’ve been flaunting around Twitter this week with the hashtag #techNOlogy along with little proverbs on how freeing yourself from this technology-invested world can actually do great wonders. In fact, I’ve deleted so many distracting and relatively-useless apps that it’s given me back what little sanity I used to have.
So how does technology overkill affect you and your business?
Instead of using bullet-points or fancy numerals, I figured I’d approach this post with a more relaxing flow. This post shouldn’t be advice you instantly jot down or chant like a monk’s mantra throughout the day. This is meant to form your professional philosophy.
I’m sure you’ve seen it – the C-suite exec’s walking and talking on their fancy Blackberry devices, numbed to the outside world. It’s fascinating as much as it is tragic. We all at some point in our lives, strive to become these impressive, powerful and influential individuals – emailing away to high-profile clients in Europe or that major supplier from Tokyo. While there’s nothing wrong with this desire, it’s the imbalance which affects us most.
Facebook, Twitter, Email, iMessage, Facetime, Texting, Messengers…
The constant emailing, Tweeting, updating, texting, mobile obsession we’ve all succumbed to. That’s the technology overkill I’m talking about. And it’s ruining our culture, or more importantly, your business. And here’s how.
Frequent use of social media and interactive professional services (such as LinkedIn or email) are a great asset to anyone’s professional life. The enabling features of these services allow you to expand your brand in incredible ways. But they can also disrupt the quality or perception of your brand in the public eye, not to mention its disruption of your own personal life.
When we text, Tweet, message, Facebook, email, connect, etc.. there is always good use and overuse. The good use of these tools is evident: they help scale and improve business. In the realm of overuse, instead of using these tools, we become used by the tools. They overtake our lives and consume our time.
They make us zombies.
Cue The Walking Dead‘s dramatic intro. But it’s true – the amount of technology we have today has developed us from a productive culture into a counter-productive one. Sure, we get that report to that person for that project by that deadline, and we remind friends what time to come over, but have you noticed how much of our personal life has been consumed by technology? It’s almost as if our lives are dictated based upon whether someone RSVP’s to that event on Facebook or if that Tweet gets favorited.
Because the condition of our personal life affects the way we conduct business in our professional life. And to have that constant obsession – or rather, worry – hanging above your head can be scary. To wonder when someone will respond to your email or text message, or if that friend of yours will accept your third Facetime request, can really have a negative impact. Let’s be blunt.
Social media makes us anxious.
And anxiety is not something you wake up in the morning and greet with a smile. It, like I just mentioned, affects the way we conduct ourselves both personally and professionally. What we need to do is take a step back from technology – not to allow ourselves to become so engrossed in the digital world. Businesses are built by the people who run them, and not by the technology which runs the people.
It is true that many businesses take advantage of the plethora of tools made possible to them, and it is great that they do so. But when the workplace or home life becomes far too enamored with excessive emails, Tweets, or messages, it draws away from the real connection we’re meant to make as people.
And as people, we’re supposed to be happy, right? Well this study by the University of Michigan reports that Facebook has shown to lead to a decline in overall happiness. It’s no wonder that in a world of instant-gratification and technology overkill we see this type of issue present.
So what about your business, your brand?
The good news is that, if you’re reading this, your business and your brand aren’t in much trouble. This has been meant as more of a warning – a wake up call – for you to realize the potential impact technology has on zombifying you and your work.
Try to make little changes in your daily routine, whether that be through turning your phone off or allowing yourself a quick 15 minute no-tech timeout. I personally use part of my post-workout routine to relax and meditate without my phone or iPod as I stretch. I find that this does tremendous help to get me through the day, feeling refueled and refreshed.
Best of luck in timing yourself out from the digital world!