Managing the flow of information, part 1

Feb 3, 2017

Or… Technology, we need to talk…

I admit it, I have been mesmerized by the magic of modern technology. I also know I am not the only one… my news feed can attest to that. But what happens when connectivity becomes too much? Or are you the kind of person for whom there can’t be too much?

Sometimes I don’t want to be found by… well… anyone. Sometimes I get tired and don’t want to see all the latest news and tweets. When that happens, how do you break technology’s spell?

How can we manage the flow of information in a world of 24/7 connection?

Whether we’re talking cybersecurity or filing systems or BYOD, any time we talk about best practices with technology our recommendation is always to start with strategy and policy, and then move into the actual technology. The tech is secondary as it’s simply a tool. Deciding what you need and how you want it used, then training your people on the ‘what’ and ‘how’, is the best way to ensure success.

But in this case, starting with strategy and policy really means starting with you, since we are talking technology best practices at the most personal level.

So, you… what do you want your relationship with technology to be like?

As I argued in last week’s post on how “The Cloud Makes Magic”, for many of us our technology runs so smoothly that we don’t even notice how enmeshed it is in our lives. The perhaps unintended result is that few of us stop to question its presence.

So, let’s question it:

  1. Do you feel like you’re in control of your technology, or does it control you? Are you okay with how much control it has?
  2. What about your life is actually made easier with the technology you use?
  3. Are you happy with the amount of time you spend with your technology? (and please note that I am not asking if you feel guilty about the amount of time you spend with your tech. That is an entirely different question!)

If this is starting to sound a little like a relationship advice column, you’re probably right. How you answer these questions… taking the time to determine the kind of relationship you want with your technology… will guide what steps you take to actually manage your tech and the flow of information that it brings.

Some food for thought…

For the more analytical or philosophical amongst you, I recommend an article called “The IRL Fetish” in The New Inquiry. Agree or disagree, the article will make you consider where you see the place of “virtual” versus “real” in your approach to tech, or if that distinction even applies. It is a longer article but well worth the read.

Then for an entirely different commentary on our relationship to technology, I recommend watching the following video of Hymn of Acxiom, a love song from your smartphone to you, performed by (and video shared with permission from) one of CompuVision’s hometown artistic neighbours, Kokopelli.

Then take some time and consider what role you want your technology to have in your life.

Happy reading and watching, and stay tuned for part 2: some practical tips for managing your relationship to your technology, and the flow of information, once you know how you want it to look.

As always, comments are welcome!

Connections Blog

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