What Technology?

Technology Computers Mobile Phones

On Thursday, at dinner, my teenage niece was aghast at what I had just done. My cellphone beeped, indicating a message had arrived. And I IGNORED IT!

She was visibly agitated. “Aren’t you going to see what it is? It’s on YOUR cellphone!”

And became even more so when I replied: “I don’t check my SMS often.”

Shock written large on her face, she turned back to her meal.

= = =

On Friday, my cousin walked into my office asking if I would help him by sending an email to the University he was registered at.

I explained how I had once emailed them for a related matter, and they never did get back to me… about how unreliable email had become.

Surprised, he exclaimed “I can understand them not replying to a letter or phone call, but email… !”

He was still shaking his head in amazement as he left the room.

= = =

On Saturday, I got a Twitter DM (direct message) from my friend Kevin Riley. He wanted some information to use in a manifesto he’s working on. I replied to it within a half hour.

At the same time, in my email inbox, I have over 800 messages lying unread. Barely 1 in 30 get a reply. And 50% won’t ever reach me, as my virtual assistant filters and deals with them.

When this realization struck me, I was just as surprised as my niece and cousin. Once upon a time, email had consumed half my working life!

= = =

So… what technology is “best”?

None of them.

And all of them.

Because at our core, we are not ‘technology-driven’ – but ‘human nature driven’.

We have different preferences and choices, likes and dislikes, favorites and hates.

That’s why I’ll blithely ignore SMS or email and respond promptly to a Twitter DM, while a teenager will stay glued to her cellphone that acts as her lifeline to a network of her friends, and a teacher will believe email takes priority over all else and must always get a response.

What technology do YOU prefer?



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  • May 4,2009 at 12:01 pm

    Technology can be a double edge sword. It definitely can provide many services, but left unchecked, it can also start consuming our lives. Moderation is key and determining which areas of technology to give our time to. I love the technology provided by my blackberry. It gives me access immediately to telephone, text and email (which entries I choose to respond to or not and how quickly to respond or hit delete), I access facebook, myspace and twitter twice a day.

    Interesting post!

    NA Sharpe

  • May 3,2009 at 4:30 pm


    Isn’t it the who, not the how?

    I prefer a phone call if we really need to communicate NOW.


  • May 3,2009 at 2:30 pm


    Now I see the difference in a DM & an Auto-DM.

    Agree – “Because at our core, we are not ‘technology-driven’ – but ‘human nature driven”.

    And Doc, if you do blithely ignore SMS or email – why did you decide to have access to those facilities.

    Being unable to respond – is understood.
    Ignoring it – haven’t arrived at a conclusion.

    The CEO of my Insuarance Agency does not have his mobile No: displayed on his “FREE GIVE AWAY CARD”.

    But, Yes but – some time ago I read that michael Dell could be contacted with a mere push of a button on a Dell Laptop.

    I don’t seem to be having it in my old Latitude model.

    What technology do I prefer?

    I like this thing called “Social Media marketing”.

    Yes -“We have different preferences and choices, likes and dislikes, favorites and hates.

    More often my mobile is switched OFF & the land line is disconnected.


  • May 3,2009 at 2:23 pm

    All of the technologies are wonderful, but none of them rule. My husband and I are visiting our 30-year-old daughter and we’re staying in a hotel. She tried to call us, and was shocked that neither of us had our cell phone turned on. The only time I turn mine on is when I want to make a call, and I only want to make that call if there’s an emergency. E-mail I do twice a day (but luckily don’t get 800 of them daily). Twitter and Facebook only twice a day. I honestly don’t want to be any more connected than that….Pat

  • May 3,2009 at 11:59 am

    It is interesting how technology has taken over our lives. To some extent, that’s okay. In anohter sense, not so much. Still, the richest experiences are as you nicely put it, “…human nature driven.” Still, technology does provide benefits, they’re just secondary to real, person-to-person contact.

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