Tag Archives: linkedin

Is anything “real” these days?

6 Sep

 

 

The internet has spawned an “International Attention Crisis” where people worldwide are addicted to constant (24×7) updates and instant gratification by social media, email, voice mail, and other “indirect” (i.e., non-face-to-face) contact with others.

 

Walk into any restaurant, bar, coffee shop, or even car, these days and you’ll seldom find anyone to talk to – in person that is – and you’ll find the same with everyone else.  It’s as if we’ve all become zombie slaves to our electronic connection tools.

 

Sometimes I wonder if there is really any communication happening in person today… except on reality TV shows where fantasy and reality blend seamlessly to convince us that non-communication in our homes and personal lives is okay.

 

Tell me what is real and what is fantasy in these situations:

 

– People sitting at the same table in a restaurant or bar (who are in-person friends) all texting others who are not there;

 

– Drivers in cars watching their smart phone screens instead of traffic all around them;

 

– Children who text their parents from their rooms instead of walking into the same room to talk;

 

– Facebook members who brag about having 5000+ “friends” when research proves that the human mind can accommodate a mere 150-or so friend relationships;

 

– People who call out or disrespect others using Facebook because they lack the guts to communicate directly;

 

– Unlimited texting is more popular than unlimited talk on cell phones;

 

– Twitter is replacing email systems as the preferred method for some corporate communications;

 

– When you meet someone they ask you if you are on Facebook or Twitter before they ask for your phone number or other contact information;

 

– People know you by your photo on social media and don’t recognize you in person;

 

– Interactive voice recognition (IVR) computer systems block access to real people when you need help desk support – sometimes there is no possible way to reach a live human being who can solve your problem;

 

– The only way to bypass circular menu systems and reach a live person at banks or cell phone providers is to say “Cancel service”;

 

– When people say “I’ll call you right back” it usually means they are bored of talking to you and will often text instead of calling back;

 

– “Events” from Facebook or social media fill out your social calendar where you mingle with mostly people you don’t care to meet again;

 

– Life becomes more isolated, more self-reliant, more independent, and less connected (even though it seems you are ultra-connected!)

 

Perhaps it is a sign that I am getting old, but I long for the days gone by when people went to restaurants and bars to meet and mingle rather than post photos and check-in on Facebook.  I’d like to go out “with” people who are not tethered, have a real date with a guy who isn’t constantly checking his email, and have good conversation with friends who are truly interested in my life and vice versa.

 

While it does happen from time to time, the reality is that nothing that was real yesterday (true communication, compassion, connection, and genuine interest) is real today.  Technology is supposed to be a communication “enabler” but I’m wondering just what kind of “enabling” it is really doing to our life today.

 

Is anything (or anyone) real these days or are we all living in the fantasy of virtual communication?

 

Wishing you genuine connections with real-life people!

 

Carol

 

 

Surviving in 2012 – Practice the P word…

29 Jan

How many times do you hear people lament at the end of a day with “I really need a drink (or a break or a massage or ______ …fill in the blank)” ?

Our days are increasingly filled with hours of stop and go traffic, rush-rush-rush, hurry up and wait, dropped cellphone calls, disconnects and misconnects, voice mails, emails, texts, and interruptions – hardly what our founding fathers (and mothers) would have imagined.

Is there a key to putting aside the hustle-and-bustle so that we can enjoy moments of zen (happiness and peace) during the day?

I believe the answer lies in the “P” word – Patience – a word celebrated and recommended by formal religions, self-help gurus, and philosophers throughout the centuries.  You might find it puzzling to know that past generations would be impatient (after all, life was so much slower in years gone by), but since the beginning of time, Patience has eluded us.

Life today is increasingly complex and runs at nanosecond speed, and impatience prevails.  Its results are not pretty as it manifests  into such negative outcomes as:

  • road rage (impatience with other drivers),
  • disgruntled employees (impatience with bosses),
  • robberies (impatience with one’s finances),
  • divorce (impatience with a partner),
  • fights (impatience with another or a situation),
  • restraining orders (impatient outbursts),
  • among others.

Impatience can be an autonomous reaction (without pause or thought) to a trigger or situation.

Patience on the other hand is a deliberate response to the same situation.  Patience calms the mind, quiets the soul, soothes frayed nerves, and allows us to focus on what we can control – such as our response.

Patience can be difficult (especially in stressful situations) – but can become natural through conscious practice.  Patience is similar to remaining calm in the midst of a storm, and in today’s “stormy” world – we have more than enough opportunities to practice!

What do you think?  Do you agree that the P word – patience – is an important survival tip?

What the blog?

9 Dec

Why blog?  I do it to put my thoughts on paper (so to speak) and now, I’m really not sure that’s enough to keep doing it…

One reason I starting writing this blog many, many posts ago was to connect with people, gain some traction, get some comments, and just maybe even create some sort of community discussion of sorts on a topic of mutual interest.  Little of this has happened with any of my posts, yet I continue to pour out my thoughts to a massive non-listening, disinterested internet public.

Sure, it provides some sense of accomplishment for me when I can say “I blogged today” in answer to “Did you have  a productive day? … but increasingly that’s just not enough.

So in this last month of 2011,  I remember the Einstein adage (apparently while this saying is attributed to him, he didn’t actually say this, but nonetheless):

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

In 2011, I tried different things with this blog:

1. I wrote about a variety of things to see if the results would be different – nope, same (non-)readership.

2. I started posting comments and links on other people’s blogs – no difference in readership or reciprocal links.

3. I promote the posts on Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn – no different result, not a blip of difference.

4. I tried posting my views on a few “controversial” subjects to spur interest, but that made no discernible difference either.

I’m tempted to stop posting altogether, and I suspect the non-readership won’t notice.

If you are reading this, thank you for doing so.  If you take the time to comment, thank you even more.  If you care whether or not I continue writing, please say so, because my ‘invisible’ blog doesn’t give a boost to my productivity.

Maybe I’ve missed the boat altogether and blogging is like life, some people score hits and others aren’t even picked for a team. I’m beginning to think that my writing is mediocre at best (it’s okay to tell me so and save me the ongoing disillusionment!)

Meanwhile, today, in the ignorance of not knowing where I sit in the spectrum and feeling utterly invisible in the blogosphere, I can only mutter to myself, “What the blog?”

Have a great weekend!

Carol

Social Media – Friend or Foe?

13 Apr

Social Media (the term used collectively for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Naymz, Ning, even Second Life) has gone “viral” (meaning out-of-control with “hits”).  Did you know that if Facebook was a country it would be the 3rd largest in the world?  And, that it is unremarkable when a teen racks up tens of thousands of text messages on their cell phone a month, yet may be grounded all the while they are texting and tweeting?

facebookIt was interesting to read in the St. Petersburg Times about a reporter who “Unfriended Facebook“.  Yes, you heard me right – she defriended (quit) Facebook outright.  Her rationale came down to that the fake relationships Facebook garnered represented a lazy person’s way of making friends, and she found herself neglecting her real life relationships.

Can you imagine life without social media?  Can you remember what it was like not to be tweeted at, friended (and defriended), connected, tagged, blogged to, linked-in to networks, groups, and invited to join hundreds of fan-clubs (pages) and attend a myriad of events – not even in your geographic area.

It is seldom these days to get phone calls on my home phone from anyone but solicitors or to talk to anyone in person without e-mail confirmation, e-vites, or texting.  And, what happens when it all does NOT work together?  What happens when an e-vite (email invitation) doesn’t work and people feel rejected because an invitation isn’t delivered?  Or when a text message is delayed (sometimes for days)?  Or when voicemails don’t register or the caller id fails?  When any of these things happen, we are so tied up in the e-world that we can end up reacting or feeling something when there was nothing to react to.  In the past, we’d call people on the phone when we’re feeling neglected or rejected to ask about a potentially waylaid piece of mail or a potential missed phone call. And often we’d be relieved to find out that our imaginations created a situation that simply wasn’t.  Mail got misdelivered, phone calls were missed, answering machines failed. It’s just life as humans.

But, with social media we forget that it too is faulty.  Texts don’t always come through (even when the sender gets a “confirmation of delivery”), voicemail and emails get corrupted, cell phones go out of range (too often) – and yet we collectively don’t confirm our assumptions with technology.

So, do you think social media is a friend or a foe?  It all depends on whether it furthers your human relationships or strains the ones you have in real life.  If the latter, then unplug (quit the sites) for a while and see what happens. You’ll be forced to work your human magic on real life people who can talk, breathe, and listen back – and isn’t that what relationships in the real world are all about?

Have a happy week!

Regards,
Carol

Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at dekkers@qualityplustech.com or carol@caroldekkers.com or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.

%d bloggers like this: