New technology is something I often blame for most of the sins of the modern world. That is unfair. My life and that of most citizens of developed economies is better in many ways because of some new technology.
That might not be the same for people fleeing the bombing and chaos in Iraq and Syria. Advances in explosives, weapons and communication devices might be working against them.
My concern is not that new technology is bad. My concern is that it is eroding values and causing users to abandon activities that have been responsible for the advances in society over thousands of years.
Values like integrity, respect for privacy, restraint, common sense, discernment.
Activities like thinking, reading, communicating face-to-face with real people, real conversation about important issues, debating, analysing what is read, writing in grammatically correct sentences and paragraphs longer than 140 characters.
New technology is not to blame for the loss of all these, we are. The technology just provides the tools, distractions and excuses.
Thanks to living in Africa during the dawn of the Internet, I had a late introduction to the digital era. When I arrived in Canada in 2004, I could send an email but had no idea what URL or domain meant and had only once visited a web page.
Despite the late start, a curious mind helped me become familiar with the new technology. After a heart attack in 2010 prevented me from earning an income from my usual sources, I was forced to use the on-line world to help me earn enough to survive.
Like many before me, I fell into the trap of believing that knowledge was everything. The more I learned, the more likely I would succeed in the new worlds of Internet commerce and social media.
I soon learned that knowledge without application, strategy and action does not create business.
Since that realisation, I have resisted learning about new programmes, social media platforms and the latest “must have” solutions to every business problem merely for the sake of adding to my store of knowledge
In the last year or two, I have abandoned or unsubscribed from many more social media accounts, newsletters and productivity tools than I have started using.
I have become more discerning, critically asking myself whether this new thing will be really useful or just nice to have.
Life is easier, more productive and less busy.
However, in the last few weeks I have been introduced to two that I do find useful and enjoy using.
The first is Blab.im a video streaming platform that allows a combination of a host, co-hosts and guests to appear in 4 live windows on the screen and an audience of viewers to watch, ask questions and make comments in a message board. Guests can be brought in and taken out of windows by the host.
It’s the next best thing to sitting around a table for a discussion that I have come across.
I have been invited to co-host a blab by The Circadians and am now in training. Here is a recording of yesterdays session.
I did a trial run for my blab last week. I will be hosting my Contrarian Crumbs blab on Wednesday 3 March at 8 pm Eastern here. Contrarian Crumbs Blab. In this blab, I will be interviewing Eric Model, a writer, broadcaster, multi-media publisher and authenticity expert.
New Technology and Productivity.
There are some tools that I do find useful and which help me become more productive. One of those is Evernote. I have been using it for over a year, it is great for clipping and storing articles and pages from the Internet. It’s also good for keeping lists. I keep my list of books to read in an Evernote folder. It is the digital equivalent of a pair of scissors and one of those old concertina files for newspaper clippings.
The other new one I think could be useful is Trello. a project management and coordination tool that I was introduced to at a workshop last weekend. It worked well for that particular workshop, allowing many delegates to add content to a number of topics on one platform. I will use it for some projects I will be working on and let you know my thoughts in a future post.
What are your thoughts on new technology? Are you the master of it or a slave to it?
graphic courtesy renjith krishnan / freedigitalphotos.net