Recently I was using my phone to find a store and realized I was standing in front of the store I was trying to find. Literally standing right in front of it while looking for it on my phone. Wow.
Ever have one of those moments? The ones where you’re using the flashlight on your phone to try to find your phone? The ones where you’re ON your phone telling someone how you’re scrambling trying to find your phone? The ones where you’re so focused on your GPS that you actually miss what you used your GPS to find?
Modern mobile technology is great. Wireless phones are mini-miracles that allow people to tap into a hive of endless information -the power of The Matrix in the palm of our hands. But the tunnel vision created by sapping all of our awareness to a small point of focus has led to a new phenomenon: Zombie Syndrome.
Zombie Syndrome, as I hereby name it, should not to be confused with Cotard Delusion –the mental illness in which the afflicted sincerely believe they are a zombie. Instead, we are talking about people using their own free will to turnoff all awareness of the world around them and going through their day in a zombie like state of disconnection. This often happens after one sacrifices themselves to the tech, relying on the device to indicate when to do certain functions including “look up.” There are cases of people walking into traffic or off ledges because their phones were the only things they were focused on.
We at Attorney Computer Systems are certainly not ones to discourage the use of technology. That being said, it is important to recognize its limitations. My GPS can tell me exactly where the store is in relation to my phone;the software and hardware have that much reliability.However,for technology to be truly valuable we need to blend ourselves with it. The technology can give us the information, but it is still up to us to interpret the information and synthesize it with our everyday experiences. Yes, experiences, that is what makes us human after all (and not zombies).
Instead of viewing technology as something you conform to, rely on, and cannot live without, may I offer an alternative way to view our relationship with this technology? Technology is a trusted advisor, but you are the one who is being advised–you have an active role to play as the boss of this relationship with technology.
As the boss of the relationship, ask how technology can serve you. What can technology do to help make your decisions more informed? What can technology do to help remind you of your commitments and obligations? What can technology do to help you choose a route to take when you’re trying to find a store?
What I’m suggesting is that you remember the simple fact that you, yes you, are the sentient being here that is using technology. You are the master in this relationship and you should retake your power over technology. In short –WAKE UP. Wake up and think about the information you now have at your fingertips.
Gone are the days where you sit there feebly hoping and praying that your technology is going to work for you this time. Gone are the days where you blame your technology for getting you lost on your way to visit a client. Today is the day we can start thinking again!
It is when we have this type of relationship with technology that technology becomes truly valuable. If you want a report done a particular way, then create the demand for the report to be created the way you want it. If you want to take the scenic route to your destination, then you take that scenic route because your GPS cannot enjoy the scenery anyway –it’s just a darn piece of code stuck in a tiny box.
Many people talk to me about how they believe people are addicted to their devices. I disagree. I think the people who have a compulsion to get lost inside their devices simply have the desire to get lost in something–they prefer getting lost in a tiny device instead of taking charge of themselves and their surroundings. While that may be their choice, it does not need to be your choice. You can choose to have a healthier relationship with the technology in your life.
Why am I so passionate about this topic? Because I’m like a relationship counselor who specializes in people’s relationship with their technology. If you have an unhealthy relationship, it is my advice to seek some help.
The next time you see somebody like me wandering around the street looking at their phone, use their misfortune as your reminder to wake up. Wake up. Wake up. Then smile because you have a world of wonderful technology just waiting to serve you today.
Article written by:
Attorney Computer Systems
Paul Purdue is a principal at Attorney Computer Systems. He's a self-proclaimed "infrastructure nerd." Check out Paul's growing library of legal technology articles and videos on Attorney Computer Systems' web site.
4 Ways to Wield Influence in Your Organization
Everyone wants to wield influence in their organization. Influence is a fragile thing that has nothing to do with manipulation or being deceptive. Influence is all about helping others to see the value in your thoughts, ideas, and perspective.
If you are going to influence others you must agree to be subtle, intentional, and altruistic.
Here are 4 ways to help you be more influential in your organization:
- Be aware of the disconnect between what is said versus what is heard
- Do NOT assume. Assumptions limit our options
- Clarify. Ask.
- Identify alternative perspectives
Example: If I view a new document management tool as time saving and essential, there will be at least one other individual in my organization that will see it as unnecessary and cumbersome. Being aware of other perspectives will allow you to be more effective in your communication.
Reframe the information
- Use vernacular that your intended audience is familiar with
- Speak in terms of the other person’s priorities
- Use THEIR preferred method of communication
Example: If I am giving directions to someone, do they want exact mileage and street names? Do they want to navigate via landmarks along the route? Everyone desires different types of communication and if we want to wield influence with others we need to reframe our thoughts in a way that makes them most palatable to the person we are speaking to.
- Openly admit challenges
- Confirm THEIR emotions (don’t deny them)
- Work to maintain rational, logical discussion
Example: If someone is frustrated that they did not have a voice in a recent decision then admit their emotions by saying “I’m sure you are frustrated that your opinion wasn’t considered.” Give them time to appreciate you confirming their emotions and allow them to return to a logic state of mind. Then discuss how to better handle this in the future.
- Help others to move past what something IS or what something DOES
- Help them to realize what it MEANS (whether is a new initiative, idea, role, or product)
Example: If your organization is moving offices and not everyone is happy about it, help them to see what it means for the organizations.
What it IS: a new building
What it DOES: provide greater office space
What it MEANS: It means our organization can continue to grow and improve. It means that we are expecting great things in our organization’s future. It means that you can be assured of stability and the quicker opportunity for your advancement. It means you can rest assured that our organization will continue to care about the employees. It MEANS peace of mind.
Everyone deserves to wield influence in their organization. Not only d0 we want our voices heard, we want to be the most effective and impactful in our roles. I hope this article helps you to be effective and empowered in all your efforts. As a final disclaimer, please only use this information for influencing, not for manipulating.