Before I started writing this post, I had one of my usual afternoon coffee break epiphany moments that got me thinking about technology and society. The main image that popped in my head is of a family, or should I say my family, sitting in the family room all in front of their personal devices (laptops, iphones, etc) and having no interactions with each other. Almost like zombies glued to their glowing lcd screens. Sounds like a Twilight Zone moment doesn’t it?
So knowing that we have amazing technology out there and more yet to come out, are we doomed to a life where all of our initial social interactions are handled via Facebook, Linkedin, mobile or other electronic outlets? Will family conversations, office conversations, or conversations in general no longer happen in person? Will it be better not have interactions in person? Will technology improve our social interactions and make us better at socializing with each other online and off?
My honest opinion at the moment: things are not where they should be and we are suffering a little socially. I do believe, however, that technology can make us better and I also believe that our company is helping to make that possible. I just think we need to remember how to interact in real life with each other in order to create technology that will help improve interaction online. Case in point: Cyber Bullies. A cyber bully is an individual who beats up on others online using words or other media (videos, etc.), without the feeling of any consequences. Hiding behind a device makes it easier to not see the dramatic effect caused to the other individual. Would the bully do the same thing to the person in real life, outside of the Internet, if they could see the person’s reaction right in front of them?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not thinking the end of the world is coming due to technology. I guess when you have children, it gets you to start thinking about how life will be in a few years from now and if some old habits still need to be taught to avoid turning our young into non socialized robots.
I’m a big advocate for balance and believe that you can’t do one thing more than the other, which is something I tell all of our clients. I believe if we balance our activities online with the offline world, the positive impact on our business, our personal lives, and society in general will be greatly improved.