Technology has changed a lot of things in our industry. My advertising firm, The Day Group, is now 21 years old, and in that time I’ve seen the evolution of technology from a small business standpoint firsthand, from fax machine to Dropbox, hard drive to the cloud, and desktop to device. Back in the day if you googled someone, you got sent to your room. A tablet was what you took when you had a headache, and an eye pad was made of gauze.
It’s completely common now to carry an entire office in your pocket and do business with employees and clients across the globe. And with this technology boom has come a new breed of employee. Digital natives have grown up with Apple, Netflix, and Google, and they know how to use them. Adopters like me love technology and use it everyday, but something’s different.
Technology advancement was supposed to make life easier and less complicated, right? It was supposed to give us more time to focus on the important things and to leave room for creativity, relationship, and depth. But does it? My experience is that all these techo-tools tend to increase my workload. Sure, I work faster, but I fill the void with more work, not less. If I take my office with me instead of leaving it, will I ever recharge my creative battery? If I can’t disconnect from the flow of information, will that affect my critical thinking ability? New studies show that nearly 85% of TV viewers are online while they watch TV (eMarketer, May 2016). In some ways, we’re getting dumber and more boring by the minute.
How does technology fit into your company purpose? How does texting, email, PDF files, and Search Engine Marketing fit into your overall plan for your business? Does it improve quality? Does it reduce waste? Or does it simply make things busier? If tech doesn’t improve your capacity to meet your company’s purpose for existing, then what’s up with that?
Get a grip on your technology. Use it; don’t let it use you. Plan your time with technology and some time without it. I’m not suggesting you go back to slide rules and Dewey decimal. I’m just saying that if you don’t exercise your brain, it will go soft on you.
And there’s no tablet for that.