Technology: Is it our Friend?

By , March 5, 2010

Writing longhand is GREAT! I’m all for editing, note taking, and drafting on paper. Over the years, I’ve invested a lot in composition notebooks and Moleskines. But writing longhand is only the beginning if I have any intentions of sharing my writing with the public.

Sending snail mail is always an option. Aside from personal or in-house use, it’s counterproductive to leave things in your handwriting, even if it is really pretty.

There is a time and a place for technology. If your goal is to free up time to smell the roses, to share your work with many, via publishing to print or the web, technology holds the bevy of tools you need. If you want to send an email, scanning and faxing what you write may be faster than regular mail, but it’s not your most efficient route. Now, you can guess what my answer will be to the title question, right?

The Answer is a Resounding Yes—Way!

I’ll tell you why. The ability  to fully refine your document is very important. Even low tech people are still technology-friendly. Mel Gibson’s character in Conspiracy Theory was a one-man operation. And from his foil-lined home, he researched, cut, typed, scanned and stuffed his newsletter for mailing.

You can achieve that corporate look from your office nook at home. Many businesses don’t accept a hand-written documents like a resume, or manuscript, or query letter for that matter. For these types of tasks, even low-tech typewriters will improve chances of getting read. I had a professor a long time ago who wouldn’t accept written documents. he said he didn’t get paid enough to have to decipher handwriting. Those papers, he assured us, would get Fs.

Computer programs sometimes catch mistakes and have tools to look professional to people you need to impress (like backers). Technology has mostly retired correction tape, starting over, scissors to move content either. We can do it all on computer, collaborate via email, and send out mass mailings of the final document, whether it’s snail mail or email.

The Drawback of Efficiency

These days, group settings to work on a big project , what once took weeks to accomplish, can now be done in days, sometimes hours. People working on projects don’t have to see each other, thanks to email, texting, instant messaging, and publishing capabilities of many word processors. Even in the same office, I didn’t need to talk to my co-workers for projects. We just did our parts and emailed them to the one uploading.

To counter that loss of community, people have gravitated to social media applications like starving college students to a free buffet. You can get involved in virtual communities with others through 140 characters or more, and cultivate a comradeship in cyberspace. All the while, you’re putting the finishing touches on the newsletter with pictures, and content that sent to your Inbox.

As for the criminal possibilities, they are inherent in everything and have been around seemingly forever. Technology offers opportunities for criminal activities, as does virtually anything else in life. Learn to use technology and learn precautions to safeguard your life and your work.

In Conclusion

So, can you really call isolation a drawback? You get your work done quickly and cleanly. Social media and instant messaging kind of make up for the shortfall. You can connect over an article you read or a game of tennis. So, relative isolation isn’t entirely a drawback.

What we have today is a different way of being and working together. Keep it in perspective, and keep your personal parts alive and well-fed. Don’t just embrace technology. Squeeze all you want out of it. You can work smarter and more efficiently, freeing more time to do the things you enjoy.

What’s your take on technology? Are you more or less weighed down because of technology? Please share your thoughts and experiences.

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