Sunday, October 19, 2008

Technology Arrogance

Disclaimer....the following opinion doesn't apply to don't bother telling me you're the exception to my opinion...I know you and everyone else...

I'm of the opinion that technology has led to decrease in productivity by many people who use it improperly rather than to increase their efficiency. There's no doubt in my mind that computers have increased productivity and efficiency and made our jobs better. However with the era of the blackberry (aka crackberry), iPhone, and other cellphone devices that allow you to check email, the Internet, and whatever else you want while on the go, I believe most people using these are actually experiencing a decrease in efficiency.

We've all been in meetings where one or two people don't bother to pay attention to what's being said and are constantly emailing, texting, or they must answer their phone either in the meeting or excuse themselves. And while I agree that most meetings are pointless if they last longer than 20 or 30 minutes, that doesn't give you a pass to be rude to the other attendees and prolong the meeting further while they wait for you to return.

And perhaps you've been to the office of someone that must answer the phone every time it rings or work will cease if they don't. Well what about work ceasing if you do?

So my simple theory is that technology has given those that abuse it the false sense of arrogance that business can't go on without them at that moment. Everyone NEEDS them. Granted everyone needs them to do their jobs, but when they are so scattered that they can't complete anything in a timely matter because they aren't paying attention to meetings, constantly answering the phone, allowing themselves to get distracted from what they are doing at the moment, then what good are they?

For these people technology has led to their inefficiency. Yet because they have been given these devices, they are suddenly irreplaceable. What happened to the old saying that "No One is Irreplaceable?" Let the phone go to voicemail once in awhile. You aren't expected to be at your desk at all times. You aren't too important for the meeting you are at, otherwise you shouldn't have bothered to come and sent someone in your place, so pay attention.

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