I love technology. I always have. Many of my early studies as a young person were in electronics, their use and repair. As a teenager, I had a long line of neighbors bringing their TVs to our house for me to repair. Those were fun times. I was 15-16.
Today, technology is just as exciting in my business life, and I am grateful for it. It makes my business life so much easier, faster and more accountable for me. Because of our use of technology, I can do far more deals simultaneously than I could just 20 years ago. That's exciting.
On the other side of this gratefulness, is a sadness. Technology spurs business, but it also can be just as effective in keeping people from interacting on a deeper level. How many texts or emails have you received where you immediately were startled by the tone. Or, maybe it was what you perceived as the tone. You see, texts and emails are a flat surface. They may not reveal a person's true intent.
In years gone by, you could listen to a person's tone. You could look into their eyes. You could easily perceive if they were irritated, hurt or frustrated. Today, it's easy to take in a cyber-message and place an intent on it that may not be close to the senders original intention. So, while technology is great business, it should be handled with kid gloves.
I force myself to go back and read my texts, emails and blogs to try and make sure I don't use language that could be misinterpreted. I don't always do a good job. Often times, I change a word or a phrase to take out any words I think might give the wrong impression. I'm a very "just the facts" kind of person. That could be interpreted as aloof and disconnected. The reality is, I'm just trying to get to the "next thing" whatever that is. Some people are like me and they're good with a straight-shooter who doesn't waste words, but some can't handle that level of direct communication. They like a little sugar in their communication. That's where technology can be a challenge.
While I'm thankful for the tools we have at our disposal, I am always aware they can be used or interpreted poorly by some. And, that can hurt relationships with colleagues, friends, family and clients. It's much like fire. Fire in a fireplace is warm and inviting. Fire in your living room curtains is a whole different thing. It all comes down to how it is used that benefits or injures.
This blog is entry 4 of the Thankfulness challenge.