Last week I had lunch with one of my long term supplier’s we’ve known and worked with each other for over 20 years and we thought it would be nice to have a catch up.
Strange thing technology?
In less than ten years we have gone from mobiles to smartphones capable of delivering complex tasks at a touch or a swipe.
Digital technology has reshaped our lives forever.
We laughed at how we use to do things.
Faxes were used to proof text and positioning, but mostly, proofs would be run out in colour and sent via mail to the customer.
Quotes were typed using electronic typewriters and then faxed or sent by post, the biggest change was the introduction of the PC which changed everything when it came to the form design process.
The phone call would inevitably lead to more work, an appointment or lunch.
In fact the business of print was largely transacted in the pub over a pie and a pint.
Who does lunch anymore?
Mobile phones offered a major breakthrough in communications for sales reps.
There was no need to find a phone box or ask the receptionist at the company you were visiting if you could quickly make a call.
Digital technology has done more than affect the gadgets we now take for granted, it has changed the way we work.
BYOD (Bring your own device) is a great example how we now interact with the world.
Sharing information has never been easier from social media, print, cloud and multi-channel we live on the super fast highway overflowing with content, ideas, and innovations.
You can look up anything on google and the search will return any number of suggestions.
If you want or need to find out something, or want to understand how a component works, google it and up pops the answer.
We have become intolerant of anything analogue a slow PC or laptop, poor broadband or a 4G connection is enough to make me want to throw my laptop against a wall such is my limited patience in this fast paced world of ours.
I demand speed and access and I want it now.
Compare the speed with which emails can be pinged to the time when we sent faxes or compare SD to HD television?
Our smartphones now have more processing power than the average PC giving us more speed so we can get things done quicker.
Remember when estimated delivery dates were just that ‘estimated’ in the pre-digital world customers were happy to accept an approximate delivery.
In our digital world we order online and we demand definitive delivery schedules.
Speed and technological progress for consumers has resulted in our demands and expectations being higher and as companies have offered an even better level of service so our expectations have risen accordingly.
Digital media, online accessibility has had a huge impact on our lives making content, ordering online and searching easy.
Imagine the perversity of not actually being chained to our gadgets?
My supplier colleague said she isn’t on Facebook refuses to chatter on Twitter and uses her mobile phone for just that, making calls.
I marvelled at how she didn’t feel in the least bit FOMO, (fear of missing out) after all bad news does have a tendency to get to you quicker as indeed good news, ‘so why do I need to be chained to my phone’, she exclaimed.
The internet probably took ten years to become an essential and basic tool for our everyday life and I wonder how the world would look without its existence.
No cloud storage for data, photos and music on the go.
Future technological innovations will happen a lot faster and whilst Facebook is now considered prehistoric with Snapchat and Instagram taking over what will be the next app that we can’t live without?
By 2020, it is estimated that there will be 50bn internet enabled devices (Ericsson, Vision 2020, 50 billion connected devices, Feb. 2011) Those devices will become interconnected into a web of the ‘internet of things’.
A future where an ‘intelligent fridge’ can self replenish by ordering online.
The rise in digital channels has generation Y permanently plugged in to their online world.
They are already part of the acceleration of the new digital world.
They are influencing the development of technologies around them they are changing their lifestyles to fit around the ever advancing world of technology and they will not accept any brand, social media channel or organisation they work for who don’t do the same.
If a social media platform or web site doesn’t satisfy their needs they will quickly explore and exploit another.
They are a generation that understand what it is to collaborate online, how to interact on social media, they are digitally and globally aware and understand the power of being connected.
Because of them they are dictating the speed of future digital communications and are developing different social behaviours that will be transmitted to future generations.
I love new technology and, I can’t live without it. I’m always looking at the latest gadget trying to justify why I should buy it and, if I can use it.
There is downside to digitisation.
I was saddened to hear my elder son talk about his dislike of reading books. Why I asked; ‘because I lose interest after a few chapters’.
He has a lot of contextual reading for A level study part of the process of acquiring the knowledge needed for the subjects.
One night he said he was going to bed early, a first in my lifetime, and I suggested he read a book rather than listen to music.
‘Why do I want to read’ he said, my eyes furrowed, ‘because you get lost in a book, it helps you relax makes your fall asleep before bed and it is one of the greatest forms of relaxation’.
I am lost in books and I try to imagine how the ending will turn out, tempting as it is to read the end.
But I hold out to find out how the story unfolds. I love the use of language and words and, when the world is collapsing around me I find my escape in reading.
One of my resolutions this year was to read more books and so far I am doing well I’m on my fifth I am aiming to read one a month, often I have two or three on the go.
It is almost perverse owning a book while online is accepted as the norm.
I am disappointed that I have been unable to pass on my love of reading to my children but, it is a changing world and I am reminded of one of my favourite all time sci-fi movie franchises ‘The Terminator’.
A stark reminder that if technology continues gathering pace at the speed it is, enjoying the simple things in life like reading may well be confined to the annals of history.
As our world becomes solely reliant on new technologies, we could forget that the simple things in life are often the sweetest.