Here Is Some of the Sh*t I Think About
Editor's Note: I enjoy driving because, quite often, I do some of my best thinking during that time. Read on and enjoy. As always, you can find all my blog posts from 2013 to the present on my website at http://stevemarshallassociates.com/steves-blog/
Two days ago, I was driving past my town's utility department and I remembered I had a power bill to pay. But, instead of turning in and paying it, I decided to just wait and do it online when I got back to my office. That started this train of thought about communication and technology.
Communications technology will free us from menial tasks to tackle more important tasks!
Has it, really? And, if so, at what cost? The first thing that comes to mind for me is that I talk less to people and do more of the communication I need to do via the second dimension - social media, text, email, etc. The human cost of that is actually crippling, I believe, because our communication has now become so one-sided and stilted with much room left for misunderstanding and error.
Check your cell phone bill
Now, if you are not buying my premise above, look at your cell phone bill and tell me how much data you used vs. how many minutes you used on your voice plan. Surprising, huh? I use at least twice as much data as I use voice minutes on average and sometimes when I am really busy, the ratio is more like 3:1.
Has this ever happened to you?
I swear that a day doesn't go by in my work with clients that I don't hear about flame wars between keyboard crusaders in a workplace tossing cyber bombs back and forth via email or text. I then always ask the question, "To what end? How did that work out for you (or her, him, or them)?" The answer is sometimes long in coming, but when it does, it is usually expressed with anger first, followed by sheepishness, and then if I continue to press the point, by regret. I believe that there is no good outcome that ever transpires from one of these types of exchanges; in fact, the outcome is always hurt feelings and a damaged workplace relationship. Is that type of interaction contributing to the success of the enterprise or organization? No.
What's the fix for this, Steve?
I have great respect for a gentleman I once worked with whose favorite saying was, "The long way is the short way." At first, I was puzzled by his statement, but then, when I thought about it some more, I realized he was saying that there are no easy fixes in life when it comes to the complexity of human engineering (and may other things). Rephrasing the above could also bring you very quickly to, "Do it right or don't do it all."
Putting it all together
What's sorely missing from today's world of instant communications is real communication; two or more people talking together and listening to each other care