The technology detox thing still bugs me…

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Technology detox redux Winking smile

So I am still thinking about the Parade magazine article (Technology Detox) from a couple of weeks ago and it still bothers me. It bothers me from the perspective of three things:

  • What is technology
  • Why is it bad
  • What does a detox really mean?

When I started my professional career I was a school teacher. People always said to me (summer’s off – that is pretty cool, but the reality was I never got a single summer off. I had education and other requirements that forced me into working most of the summer. Companies, when you work for them, pay you time off in many cases. Is that an organizational detox?

Then I started wandering even further afield wondering what exactly we meant by technology. So I decided to create the great technology detox list. The top ten things that poison our minds that we should in the end stop using for our detox. Let’s go for 24 hours on this first run of technology detox.

Top offenders for detox

  • Stop lights – give me a break people. When roads come together we should decide on a case by case basis who gets through the intersection we don’t need this technology gizmo
  • Doctors and all their technology – let’s stop using them right now. 24 hours no doctors. You are never sick until the doctor tells you after putting you through a bunch of machines, right?
  • Television – the great babble box – unplug it for 24 hours
  • Radios in the car – sit in a traffic jam like your forefathers did in the horse and buggy days, staring blindly off into space. Put the car in park first thought.
  • Oh for that matter, you shouldn’t be in a car you should be in a horse and buggy so get out of that car and find your horse.

Yes the sarcasm is dripping and it is intentional. At what point do we reduce below a functional level. Technology is all about moderation. If you can’t go more than an hour without checking your email – there is something else wrong and it isn’t technology.


To be or not to be positive, that is the question!

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I have been thinking about the concept of influence. It is an interesting concept and one that puzzles me most of the time. They (and of course we all know who the they in they is)tell us growing up to be honest and face the reality of what needs to be said. But you don’t influence people with negative messages.

To a degree negative presentations work. They tend towards honest but they also tend towards brutal. How do you balance the negative information with the reality of influencing people?

For a long time I always presented information to other people in the manner we were trained to do as teachers, part positive (you are doing this well) with the part negative (but you need to do this better). It is funny to me that the “Kindergarten” rules are so quickly forgotten in the business world.

Why can we not talk about being positive first and then negative? Saying the nice thing first? I was once advised by a manager that I was to positive about people and needed to present more negative views. I did that for a number of years but have come to realize that in fact it isn’t the way I was raised nor is that the way I want to be.

There is some value in the positive influence. I just have to find a way to do that after all the years of negative!