Technology comes in waves. One tech begats another, and so on. We, as interested humans, embrace what intrigues us or makes life easier or allows us to do our jobs better. But this is not true for all humans. There are those who are happy with life the way it is, that are secure where they reside, that do not need technology sustenance and are blessed with little drive to improve or do more. I do feel it is a curse, at times... my perpetual need to do things better, faster, more in-depth than the last year or the last time.
Reach and relevance took on new meaning in 2010. If people weren't reading my blog or tweets, I was less of an influencer than others? This I do not believe to be true. The only way to measure true relevance is by watching for change or betterment. Even if I, as the author, am the only one changing or bettering, even then, my writing had relevance. Technology allows for this. We have social networks or blogging that encourage social sharing of information, details, tech specs and more.
Several weeks ago, I stopped at a coffee shop to get my fix - a soy vanilla latte. As I waited for my precious order to be filled, I scanned the room to take in its strange mix of occupants. Students gathered in corners, jam study sessions in place as it was the last two weeks of the semester and finals were eminent. An older couple sat at the same table reading two different books, never acknowledging each other. Young girls tittered in another spot discussing the latest Uggs or boys - both important subjects if you know any fifteen-year old girls. In the furthest corner, rapid movement caught my eye and fascinated, I took in the scene that played out before me. On a laptop, a handsome young man stared into the computer while making wild hand gestures. Then I noticed his utter and complete silence.
I moved closer as the realization hit me. He was Skyping. And he was deaf. I gulped when the fullness of the moment hit me and not wanting to be noticed as nosey or rude, I turned quickly away, but this beautiful scene drew me back and I spent the remainder of my wait-time taking it all in. The best possible use of a technology I had been taking advantage of for several years was unfolding before me. I was instantly thankful for my immersion in tech, that I knew what was going on, that I was able to see this. I felt completely stupid that I had not even imagined this as a possible use of Skype.
Sometimes, accidentally, technologies emerge that change how we view and accomplish and life. Sometimes, life changes how we view a technology and this is what happened for me. There is not a technological instance in my life now, since witnessing that display, that I don't wonder about alternate uses or who else any particular tech might help or assist.
Realize more. That is what happened to me. The advantage is ours.