Saturday, June 19, 2010

Is Technology "All Flash, Little Substance?"


Could be. The interesting thing is, the answer lies with you, not the products themselves. Technology is NOT a solution, but a tool.

Do you remember the the first Palm Pilot you might have had? The idea that you could "Beam" your business card to another Palm and receive others cards, by infrared technology, was the coolest thing on the planet! State of the art, very efficient and no doubt this was they way we would receive all of our information in the future! However, here it is a decade later, and no one is "Beaming" their data from their phones today.

Why is this?

Aside from the technology itself being finicky, and that time and effort was required for users to set it up and to learn to use it, there was a far greater roadblock. The technology was to change the way people exchanged business cards and this is unfortunately backwards. Technology does not changes things to make things easier for us. We need to change to allow technology to do it's job for us!

The exchange of business cards is a very long ingrained pattern, and a time worn custom in business cultures around the world. To change it so fundamentally, by eliminating the paper card for a digital one, is a very uncomfortable thing to do. It was simply too much, too soon for most of us in that era.

As a society, we hadn't embraced what we all have adopted today, and that is that we need to learn, adapt and change on a monthly, even weekly basis to allow technology to help us.

And that right there, is the key. Technology, no matter how revolutionary it is, will not help us if we don't create a new pattern to adopt it into our lives.

The world of phone apps is a utopia of 100's of 1000's of new tools at our disposal. When you first loaded new applications onto your phone, how productive did you find them? My guess is nada. How productive is a tool that you forget you have! Here is the typical pattern for the use of new apps on your phone.

1. You download a groovy new application, such as a weather app, a mortgage calculator, a voice memo app etc. The first time after you installed the app, and you need to look up the weather, calculate a mortgage or record a memo, you immediately... run to your computer.

2. Then, while navigating your search engine, you remember "I have an app for that."

3. So the next time this same need arises you...run to your computer again. And again. This process probably happens 3X before you think to go to you app first. Even then, you probably use it for the first time, only when you are away from your computer and necessity prompts your mind to search for other options. "Oh right, I have a totally cool app for that!"

4. Now, you have changed your brain pattern to solve this need, as well as make a new muscle memory that directs you to your phone instead of the computer.

5. Each additional app you download follows this same pattern. But, each time, the training of your mind pattern becomes easier and muscle memory is reinforced every time we now reach for our phone instead of our keyboards.

So the question was: Is Technology "All Flash, Little Substance?" That's up to you. Technology is useless if it is not integrated into your daily life. The best technology in the world can flounder if the users don't adjust their activities to accommodate the new work patterns required. Technology is designed to make your life more efficient. How can your life be more efficient if you keep doing the same things?

The end result is, you have to allow change for Technology to work. You have to change your patterns; mentally, physically and in your day-to-day activities. The more you allow yourself to change patterns, the easier it will be to continue to do so. Soon, the introduction of new technology in our lives will be a common everyday occurrence. Oh wait, that's now!

1 comment:

  1. Jessica I appreciate your attempt to explain that technology is changing at fast rate and we should change the ways that things actually occur.Which is not possible always.Isn't it true?
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