A Recurring Question: Does Technology Help or Hinder Your Productivity?

July 29th, 2008 by | Print

There are no easy answers to that question. I really believe it depends on your

  • environment,
  • framework,
  • experiences, and
  • level of expertise with the technology out there.

I’ve always been surrounded by some sort of technology guru since the early 90s, and while I’m not an early adopter when it comes to purchasing new technology (more like early majority), I will definitely check out a new tech toy that’s recommended to me from someone I respect if it’s free to see if it would be beneficial to me and/or my business.

I’m also not afraid of technology and I love to engage all my learning styles when figuring it out–mostly visual/kinesthetic–I hate reading the manuals on- or offline! ;)

But it has to work for me psychologically as well, I’ve found–especially with all the choices out there (more on that in a forthcoming post!). Facebook, Twitter, and podcasting do that for me.

About a month ago, I wrote about all the choices within traditional internet marketing and new media marketing and the only “comments” I got were on Twitter and they had a similar theme: “Too many choices to comment!” or “My head hurts! Let me think about that one for a while” That’s telling in and of itself!

So on the hindrance side, “overwhelmed by the choices” could fit right in. Another hindrance could be the “way too dependent on the technology” syndrome.

For example, I recently came back from a trip to the Mountains in Taos, NM and admittedly had a little anxiety about the fact that there would definitely be no cell phone service, and not knowing if I was going to have internet access nearby. I was so afraid, even with my vacation auto-responder that I’d be so overwhelmed when I got back.

I was worried about what I would miss in the social networking world since it changes so quickly. And we won’t even talk about my potential Twitter withdrawals–I tend to learn the most about the latest and greatest updates there along with satisfying my need to connect with like-minded people!

So imagine my visible relief when we discovered that there was a computer lab in walking distance from the cabin that had wi-fi and actual desktop computers…and printers! I did have to cancel a webinar since I couldn’t be on the phone (land line was in the cabin) and on the computer in the same room, but other than that, I really have to say that my anxiety levels went back down to zero when I saw what was available.

I knew intellectually that unplugging for a week wouldn’t have killed me, but emotionally I wasn’t so sure! I really do see the benefits of the technology when you have a strategy in place (which I definitely have). You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Technology is great…when it works!” I really believe that. :)

So what do you think?

Do we depend too much on the technology?

Are we bombarded too much by all the choices? Or

Do you have a strategy in place so that the technology works for you rather than your being a slave to the technology? Would love to read your thoughts!

–Carol Dickson-Carr

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