I may be showing my age by asking “Is it real or is it Memorex?
Do you remember the Maxell ad campaign? There’s a guy sitting in a Le Corbusier lounger in front of a set of speakers; as the music starts his lamp and scarf start to fly out behind him giving the sense that the sound is incredibly loud. In an age where digital media was nothing but a future dream, it creates such an impression of accuracy, clarity and precision; you feel like the orchestra is there. It seems necessary and relevant.
Seems somehow normal.
In our accelerated world the need for instantaneous information seems to have us all relying so heavily on technology to live our lives. We sit at our desks working on a PC or we have numerous devices to keep us connected to our clients, colleagues and friends. For most of us our main form of communication is digital, we interact in our business and personal lives virtually. “Come on”, you say, “I don’t do that”……Do you? Stop, take inventory. Hey, I’m no different. I don’t consider myself an innovator or even an early adopter when it comes to technology but here I am communicating regularly through a virtual world.
How much time do you make in your day for personal interaction? How much is necessary and for what reason? How much more difficult is it to write a letter than talk on the phone? How much easier is it to get your point across having a face to face conversation than over an email exchange? When is it more productive to avoid personal contact or when can such avoidance benefit your success?
I wonder if there is a little silver lining there.
With the unlimited opportunities to effectively manage your life using the many digital tools available to you; when and how you choose to interact on a real level is becoming more and more selective and in some ways, strategic. How do you decide when you need to be present? How and when does that affect your ability to succeed? Can something as simple as a smile or a hug be the type of communication that helps you succeed the same way a simple thank you gets you a long way in a relationship? Has a personal touch been diluted by technology? Has a handshake, looking someone in the eye or reading body language been replaced by the stimulus of emotion from a piece of digital content? Is one more effective than the other? Is one better or worse? Is one more strategic than the other?
How do you place value on personal interaction through human contact? Technology has made the world virtually flat but has also given us the tools to keep current no matter how close or far our colleagues and friends may be. When you do see your friends and colleagues, is the experience enhanced by the digital relationship you have?
We can only continue to try both and see.