Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Technology

Sometimes I wish that I could live on an island somewhere in a cute little cottage, with zero technology, and simply a giant stack of books. There are times when I am just so sick of being "connected" all the time. I love my job, but there is a certain expectation that you're available all the time. And the time when you're not available (like in air during a flight) is typically when everything goes wrong. (Turning on your phone to 37 frantic emails completely erases whatever tranquility you had before.)

It's exhausting to simply try to keep up. Getting ahead? Nearly impossible.

I treat my inbox like a temple; I try to keep unwanted emails out. 
I read paper books as often as possible.
I take technology breaks whenever I feel my patience wearing thin.

But at the end of the day, most of my life (for better or for worse) is tied to one type of screen.

While I find my frustration levels from time to time escalating, I think I forget about all the wonderful aspects of technology.

Technology connects, democratizes, and educates. Technology heals. Technology advances. Technology builds and grows and magnifies.

Your voice can reach millions around the world. Your art can show up anywhere and is accessible by anyone. Your ideas can impact the masses and make real social change.

Technology is revolutionary.

Yesterday, I was reminded of the true wonder that technology can be. It came at the most perfect time. I had spent the entire weekend trying to balance visiting with my family (and sister who was leaving for Australia!) and completing seemingly endless Google hangout meetings, emails, Photoshop files, and blog posts. I tried my best to stay present with my mom, dad, sister, and friends... but then I was up well into the night and awake before the sun to squeeze more things in. I was ready to switch my flight back to Manhattan to the best island I could find to fulfill my cord-free fantasy.


working from home in Florida was a nice change of scenery. 

At work yesterday, I was balancing an iPad, my Macbook, and my iPhone staying up to the millisecond on all things social for Levo League's Office Hours with Warren Buffett. To say that it was stressful and overwhelming would be an understatement. But then, between responding to Tweets and sending out favorite quotations, it kind of hit me how amazing technology is.

Women (and men) around the world were tuned into a video chat with one of THE most influential people in the WORLD, Warren Buffett. He was answering real people's questions and sharing real anecdotes and real successes and real emotion. The mere fact that his charming personality radiated through a screen was remarkable. His physical being may have been in Nebraska, but his energy was exuding through every single pixel. He was in the office right with me, even though he wasn't.


Technology can be good.

I think we should realize this and make sure that we're using it for good. It's easy to waste technology. We might spend one too many hours a day watching pointless Youtube videos. Or use the ease of communication to talk poorly of someone. Or simply not use the power of it to our full advantage; to spread our voices, our art, our ideas.

The next time I feel like technology is suffocating me... I will remember the good, the true power of it all. Because dealing with 203 unanswered emails is kind of worth it in the grand scheme of things.

How do you use technology for good?

xoxo
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6 comments :

  1. Are you the one that tweets the #officehours tweets?? I love those! I write them on a white board at work for inspiration for everyone!

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  2. I couldn't have read this post at a better time. For about the last year, I've been working for a nonprofit in Houston, and I've recently taken to overhauling our social media branding, strategy, and content. I'm overwhelmed. I actually just filmed a Vine video to quickly pull together all of the places we're active - just Facebook and Twitter seem like a lot before outlets like Pinterest, Youtube, and Foursquare are even considered. But at the end of the day, I do think the time and effort is worthwhile and digital transparency is key for organizations. It's amazing the connections you can make through a computer screen.

    www.pairhouston.org
    facebook.com/pairhouston
    twitter @pairhouston

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  3. I think that you should check out Lara Casey's website-- in particular, her blog. She's a business owner and coach, and addresses a number of the issues you talk about in this post, how stepping away from work and creating boundaries actually allows you to perform better at work AND be happier.

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  4. I think the key is boundaries. My husband and I recently took a day off work together, and he spent half of it fielding calls from the office. Crazy thing is, his boss and half the staff were also on vacation! There needs to be a point where people say, "I'm not checking" or "I don't have access." But it seems like a lot of people are afraid of the consequences of doing that.

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  5. wow, it always feels like I am in total sync with you! Whenever I am going through something you manage to make a post relevant to my situation, it's amazing. It's true though, technology can be a hassle and sometimes even feel like a burden but then again… it's a blessing :)

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  6. Twitter for news. Facebook for connecting with friends and promoting social justice initiatives and hopefully one day blogging for similar reasons.

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