Technology is a fine thing, and something that most of us cannot do without on one level or another. It keeps us connected to colleagues, partners, family. It even helps make our lives more tolerable, less intensive, more effective and overall easier.
Is that really the case?
Did I say, more tolerable, less intensive, effective and easier? Information flies around at such speed that it is almost impossible sometimes to feel that it makes life less intensive. In some instances, it is even questionable whether it helps us to be more effective.
Here are just a few facts and figures to support my comment, from Bernard Marr of Enterprise in a Cloud, May, 2018:
- 3.7 billion humans use the internet
- 40,000 searches are conducted through Google every second. That is equal to 3.5 billion searches per day on Google alone.
- In the last two years 90% of data was created at the current pace. That is 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being created every day. If you don’t know what a quintillion is – check out Google!
- 156,000 emails are sent
- 103,447,520 SPAM emails are sent
- 4,146,600 users watch Youtube
- 45,788 Uber rides
- and the list of technology related statistics goes on……
It is no wonder that some days, I feel like I am in a washing machine that just keeps going and never reaches the end of its cycle. I’m constantly bombarded with information coming in via WhatsApp, Linked In, Facebook, including Messenger, Twitter, SMS messaging, email and finally the odd telephone call.
The feeling of having to be constantly connected and available can be very stressful. Not to mention the other side of the coin, of keeping in touch with the latest information, just to keep your head above the parapet. This list of possible ways to contact is not complete by any means when considering all other in possibilities.
Impact on business
Is present day business expecting all leaders to have the same digital availability, whilst also managing team members on a face-to-face basis. Or have leaders become digital, thus leading without face-to-face exposure?
Impact on the brain
What impact is this having on the brain? Research is already showing that brain function due to neuronal re-programming is changing and becoming wired differently. Whether this is evolution or not, time will tell.
Ill health such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder and other brain related diseases are increasing in number and hit the headlines more often.
Is it time to think about using digital technology for the purposes that it was designed for – to assist and make life easier by transferring information instantly, to conduct meetings virtually, to send the same information to a group of people at the click of a button and to access news as and when time is appropriate?
Would this allow “unconnected” down-time to enable enjoyment from leading people, and to be able to appreciate what they do and say in a fully focused manner? Interacting with others on a face-to-face, person-to-person basis brings what technology is unable to do, fully engaged communication, that human touch which we all need at times, and a normal conversation with facial expressions, shared joy, disappointment, laughter and interest. Is this approach, old hat, or simply lost under the demand of our digital world?
Do you really need technology to tell you how you slept?
This blog came about because of one of those all too rare face-to-face conversations with a friend and business colleague as I noticed that she was not wearing her Fitbit activity tracker. On asking where was her Fitbit she answered, I used it for 2 things:
- To tell me how far I have walked
- To tell me if I am sleeping
With that last comment she added: “When I wake in the morning, I know whether I have slept well or not. Why do I need a Fit bit to tell me this?”
Is this yet another aspect of giving up brain capacity to a piece of digital technology, which at the end of the day tells me what I already know?
Bernard Marr (May 2018)
Baroness Susan Greenfield, Mind Change (2014)
Rachel Shackleton is an entrepreneur who owns and manages Green Key Personal Development and Green Key Health. Working with local and multinational organisations, she is a public speaker and trainer in the spheres of leadership, communication and customer excellence. She ensures sustainable productivity and profitability through healthy self-management and leadership practices, ensuring a focused and successful workforce.
New here? I write about leadership development, communication and customer excellence, including health and well-being at work. You can read similar blogs here: