Life was simple once ...

The pervasiveness of the technological age.

A telephone was a device for conversation between two people. People wrote letters when they had finished writing they put them in the mailbox. A car may have a radio in it; most cars did have one at all.

Now we have all this “stuff” that is connected. Connected in multiple ways as well. We have a phone that can bring the world to our fingertips. # more This phone can live in our pocket or bag, store our music or our life, our address book, reminders for life events. It even has a browser that connects to the internet so we can search, read blogs – like this one; and write emails. Saints preserve us if this phone is lost or stolen.

We have a tablet that can do as much as a phone. For instance, it provides us the ability to contact patients via eHealth apps, giving our elderly relatives and friends a helping hand to stay in their homes for longer. Our phones and tablets even take photos, as quickly and as cheaply as a digital camera of today, unlike back in those simpler times.

There is an idea that technology had not impacted our lives. I believe this is false. For workers, employees it has meant that they work later, from home on their phones, tablets or computers. The workday does not end when they leave the office. For business owners, technology is often the bane of their lives. Especially if said technology fails. Have we not read about those times in the paper or should I say online! Technology can now even run our homes to be more energy-efficient.

As a child, I longed for the day when life as shown in the cartoon “The Jetson’s” would become a reality. Flying cars, Robot maids, auto dog walkers and communication with others at my fingertips, that was the life to have. Life in the cartoon seemed to have a sense of being less complicated with the use of technology, not more.

So how is technology being pervasive in our lives? What “stuff” has technology in it that we forget that it has? Those are the questions. The flip side question is, how can technology help my business now and the future?

Technology has invaded our lives one bit at a time, professionally and personally. By its very nature technology is stealthy. It makes our lives better by making it easier to do things. However, the reality is that this may not be. For people of a certain age, the record of their life is stored electronically. From movies, music and book preferences through to having pictures of their lives or their conversational history with friends on this device call a ‘smart’ device. You know – phones or tablets that are available now. It is not necessarily that these devices are ‘smart’. They have a small footprint – with a computer that can access voice and data networks. They also have the programs we are choosing to use, like word processors, messaging and email.

Organisations can take advantage of this by having a digital presence. This can take many forms from:

  • a website readable on any device (hopefully)
  • to a dedicated program for just what service they are supplying the public,
  • right through to other internet gatherings like social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – to name a few.

The danger with this is that we can start to allow our view of the world and life be dictated or shaped by this prism of technology we use. Especially social media – and those who manipulate it.

For most people, that is just fine the way things are. Yet to reach them means that you have to get through all this digital ‘noise’. Is it no wonder that we are bombarded by adverts on our electronic mediums. It reminds me of commercial television. Ads every 5 minutes it seemed.

Having a strategy to cut through the noise is important and it sometimes means doing a variety of things to get noticed.

The Future is Here:

Well apart from having flying cars readily for sale that is!

We are daily bombarded with news articles and social media memes and posts that being on the internet is not safe. This is scary as the people of the world have not yet gained the wisdom so often sought after. Human nature is after all human nature and it has not changed in a long long time.

The United States of America has a President that is spouting all sorts of things and uses Twitter™ to rant or tell people non-truths. There have been election campaigns that used social media and technology to sway voters to thinking that they voted for an “authentic” representation of them. There has even been Faked News that entraps the gullible. Not to mention the manipulation of Social Media from foreign governments.

I suppose that is where this is leading being “authentic” in the digital world. The idealised world of the Jetsons did have its problems and it also provided a simple look at what could be in the future. Being authentic was not really a feature of that story. We are entering an era where it is more and more digitised – the Internet of Things. So how as a business person do you show your nature online.

One way is to ensure that how you act in person is how you act online. Remembering what our grannies said in that if you would not say it to someone face-to-face do not write it down, or video it. Being truthful to yourself is how your customers will know who you are just like going to the greengrocer or local deli or even your favourite coffee shop. They will also know who you are from your actions online, where actions definitely speak louder than words sometimes.

So what can you do:

Choose your social media networks carefully – not all networks are created equally and choosing the right one will help you with your digital strategy without dodgy tactics. Ensure that from a business perspective that everything you post is something you would be happy to read or know. If what you are posting is in-line with your business and personal values (they could be one and the same), then you know that your followers will be able to know what you stand for. Just like you get to know your favourite coffee shop, your followers will get to know you, through your posts. Think of them as conversations that you would have over the counter when ordering that coffee. Your followers become customers and will purchase from you, or vice versa. The Internet of Things is here, it snuck up on us while we weren’t watching. Being conscious of security and privacy online means that even a private citizen has to think about theses, let alone product makers who never did before. Being authentic is one way to show who you are, in this world of self-driving cars (thanks, Elon Musk), televisions that can connect to the internet and record your favourite shows and your house wired up so you can control it from your phone. It is not about hanging out all your “dirty laundry” for people to dredge through.

We have entered the brave new world – it is up to us to decide how we will use the technology available to us to enhance our lives, our businesses. To protect what needs to be protected and keep vigilant through it all.

At GraphitEdge, acknowledges this ‘noise’ and is here to help you make the most of what you need to do.