‘Ain’t’ technology grand? In some ways for sure it is and yet, today we are hearing some folks question whether or not all of it is always a benefit, especially in the business environment. Just being faster, evidently, doesn’t guarantee more efficient or more accurate outcomes. As such, more and more people are beginning to get curious.
Think of all that has happened over the past many years and the impact various technological advances have had on our lives … in general … and certainly in the workplace. Some that have really made a difference include the likes of …
- The introduction of voicemail allows us to leave messages … rather than continuing to dial … and redial, until we reach the other person
- The introduction of email that lets us conveniently send messages that we want or need to convey to a recipient with or without needed attachments … rather than relying on a slow motion mail service or a copy machine that too often needs toner or paper.
- Making our notes in an electronic ‘pad’ … one that allows us to transfer and store them in an appropriate file … rather than writing them long-hand on a lined-paper pad and then typing and printing them out to place in the right file folder
- Texting and our ability to instantly send a message to a recipient in the blink of an eye … so much more efficient than wasting time with niceties before getting to the heart of our message
Aha! It seems to be the last one … the ‘texting’ … that now has some beginning to question whether or not using this tool is a detrimental cost to those who have enthusiastically made the switch. Is there a possibility that advantages of speed, immediacy, efficiency and distant communication come with a cost? Is it possible that making the text our ‘go-to communication tool …
- Wastes time because of the 3 or 4 exchanges between people that takes minutes could be satisfied in a 45 second phone conversation?
- Potentially tosses diplomacy to the wind by making people comfortable to express themselves in ways that they would never do if speaking directly and as a result create other issues that need to be dealt with?
- Detracts from giving our attention to a key meeting while we respond to an incoming text and as a result, so much time is spent waiting for texter or restating what he or she missed … because they were texting?
What many are beginning to realize is that just because something is developed that is faster or more efficient in one sense does not mean that these ‘improvements’ don’t carry a potentially large cost. What they are questioning and beginning to do is to set guidelines and company rules
as to when and what certain tools may be used to enhance the success that we all strive to achieve … without creating situations that detract from it.
To text or to talk? My guess is that it’s a good and timely topic to raise within your company, your team or group. After raising the issue, look quickly around the room and you can expect to see heads nodding in agreement. Technology is thrilling and will continue to be so. And yet, is it is always better? A question worth exploration!