We’re no Luddites, really.
Between us, we count three tablets, four laptops, two PCs, and multiple smartphones. We’re trained to use every Microsoft program available for download or cloud tapping. We’re conversant with all things ITrendy, even, to some point, debating the worth of Outlook against Entourage, cloud versus portable HD storage, and the like.
We’ve noticed that lately, the media’s been packed with rants about technology’s mesmerizing effects. About un-story-like (but unfortunately true) tales of PowerPoint that perplex and bore. About how much time is wasted by Reply to All, High Priority e-designations, and smaller-than-small mouse type.
In this corner, the avengers: More than one firm has hired a start-up to measure exactly how its employees are using technology at work. [Shades of Big Brother, eh?] Others restrict the use of certain features or applications. And still other businesses IT avoidance on certain days, during specific hours, even at special occasions.
What all these solutions to our tech OCDs miss are the threat to our thinking. Sure, many of us compose on the screen, with blinking cursor always at the ready. There are some projects, though, that just demand some peace and no visual effects: When pondering the creation of a marketing campaign (in the midst of analytics) or simply free-associating to capture ideas and, eventually, viable recommendations and solutions. In those cases, that mouse becomes our enemy and the PC shut down, the immediate cure-all.
We like the elegant twist of Intel. Its 14,000 employees have been blessed with four hours a week to think through “stuff,” excused from emails and meetings for all but the most urgent of reasons.
To that we say, Amen … and why not longer?