By: Kathy Henderson, Director of Economic Development, CCEDC
Are you in a Technologically Intoxicated Zone? You know who you are; you leave the house and realize you don't have your phone or tablet. You start to shake, beads of sweat form on your forehead and you feel a panic attack coming on. Your chest tightens and you can't fight the urge to run back into the house and find your safety blanket. How will you survive on the streets without being in constant contact with the world?
John Naisbitt first developed the concept of high tech, high touch in his 1982 bestseller Megatrends. He theorized that in a world of technology, people long for personal, human contact. Naisbitt re-examines this idea in his latest book, High Tech/High Touch. It is his opinion that we both fear and worship technology; we blur the distinction between real and fake; we accept violence as normal; and we live our lives distanced and distracted. Maybe it's time to check your addiction to tech.
Two of the biggest markets in the United States today are consumer technology and the escape from consumer technology.
More and more people are seeking to disconnect from the stress and connectedness of the everyday world. However sometimes they don't consider a total disconnect by leaving their tech behind. They go on a hike and have their phone with them to take pictures. That leads to posting on social media which leads to checking your Facebook page which leads to....you get the idea. Pretty soon they are sitting along-side a beautiful waterfall checking their Twitter account and never noticing the natural beauty surrounding them.
A vast majority of the businesses that I work with all have the same concern; some potential employees are not able to look someone in the eye and hold an intelligent conversation much less complete a job interview. We have become disconnected from our humanness and too connected to our tech.
How do we bring the high touch back into our lives? According to Naisbitt, we seek meaning through religion; we buy self-help books; we pop Prozac, Viagra, and other supplements; we seek a false connection to nature by driving sports utility vehicles and buying clothes from L.L. Bean or Cabela's. Kind of a "fake it till you make it" attitude.
The solution is simple: pull the plug on the computer and TV, turn off the cell phone and spend more time with family and friends. Head outside and go for a walk or a bike ride. Greet the people you meet with a genuine smile and a hello. Challenge yourself and your family to sit down to a meal together with no phones at the table, no TV blaring in the background and actually have a conversation or take your kids to the park and play a game of ball. Stepping away from the tech can help clear your mind, spark some creative thinking and get you re-energized for work. Can you do it? Try disconnecting for a day and see what you have been missing.