The downside of technology

Brad sent me an article a few days ago that described the very unplugged world of Warren Buffett (according to the article the most technologically advanced device he has in his office is a telephone, which he uses sparingly). It’s a pretty amazing read and reminded me of another article that was sent to me recently – this time by Dave Jilk – describing how technology is changing (negatively) the way people work (too distracted, shortening our attention span, ruining our vacations, etc.).

Rather than rant about people using cell phones in restaurants or checking e-mail in meetings, I’ll relate a personal story that reminded me that it’s not the technology that’s to blame, of course, its how you use it.

I was in the car with my wife one afternoon (I was driving) and my portable e-mail device (a Danger Hiptop) was buzzing with e-mails. I must have been expecting something that I really felt I needed to see right away because I started to glance down at my hiptop. My wife turned to me and asked if it would be helpful if she took the wheel (from the passenger seat) while I checked my e-mail. Clueless that she was 1) completely making fun of me; and 2) not even the slightest bit serious, I responded that this was a GREAT IDEA and went to pick up my hiptop and relinquish the wheel to her. My get a clue radar kicked in about that time and I realized that this was not what she actually had in mind .  Point well taken. . . .

  • I’d be willing to bet Warren’s pal Bill has more than a phone in his office. I wouldn’t be too quick to draw any causal relationship between connectedness (or lack thereof) and success.