My teacher often says ‘the poison and the cure are the same’. This is certainly the case with information technology and social media. The way we approach them is all about balance. If we use them too much, we can waste a great deal of time and miss what’s going on around us. At the other extreme, we can miss out on connections, information, opportunities and even seeing certain photos that we wouldn’t otherwise get to see.
I’ve learnt just about everything I can do with technology from my husband, so it amuses me when people think I have good IT skills because I’ve been able to teach them things!
I resisted using technology for a long time. When Doctors had the option of printing out scripts from their computers back in the late 1990s, I kept writing handwritten scripts in my neat writing. (Some people said my writing was too neat for a Doctor!). When most Doctors switched over to computerized medical records, I kept writing handwritten notes in paper files. I chose to write letters by hand when most people were using emails.
When I took on a senior role at an organisation that delivered medical education, I told the admin people in the office that I preferred conversations to emails. However the culture was to send people emails, so my request fell on deaf ears. The year was 2008.
I also remember the year that text messages started being used by teenagers. We were on a family holiday when my daughter was midway through secondary school. I felt really annoyed when our holiday activities were interrupted by text messages that her boyfriend of the time was sending her. That was in the year 2000. How things have changed.
At times technology still feels like a real pain to me. And yet, I am also very grateful for it. I can skype with my son who is currently working overseas, and not have to wait days for an airletter to reach me. I can skype with relatives, friends and students.
Today I had a lovely reunion ‘coffee’ (or peppermint tea in my case) with one of my friends from grade four. We hadn’t seen each other for 48 years! I wouldn’t have located her without Facebook.
Writing this blog takes me out of my comfort zone . I prefer writing things by hand, but I type my blog so as to save time. My next big IT challenge will be to successfully add photos to my posts. Watch this space, and see if I can do it next time!
Oh, and finally, here are some more words about balance…..
This morning I went through my 2015 diary and wrote a list of all the things I’ve achieved this year. This gave me the opportunity to reflect on aspects of my life that are in balance, as well as those that are out of balance and need more attention. The categories I used were those recommended by Brendon Burchard, a world famous author, coach and motivational speaker who gives free podcasts and youtube talks on a variety of personal development topics. The categories are: health, friendship, love, my life’s purpose, finances, hobbies and spirituality.
I’d encourage you to reflect on these things as well. Give each one a rating out of 10, and then see if you can take a small step to improve your rating in each area by one point. Happy reflecting!