The Electronic Age of Communication…Friend or Foe?

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The Electronic Age of Communication…Friend or Foe?

Many of us continue to be fascinated by the power of our technology and continue to push its limits to improve our productivity.

With the changing of the seasons and summer in full force it is a good time to take a breather from our busy lives and reflect upon our life priorities. Many of us continue to be fascinated by the power of our technology and continue to push its limits to improve our productivity on a daily basis. There is a line of thought that being too busy can be as dangerous for our long term well being as being too lazy. This is certainly an idea that if taken seriously can undermine the premises of our very existence and day to day living.

We should remind ourselves that it is still early days in terms of adapting these technologies into our busy lives and the danger of course is that instead of making our lives easier and improving our productivity, these technologies do the opposite and keep us in a state of constant stress with never enough time to answer all of the emails in our inbox and client service now demanding instantaneous response. Certainly, in terms of dealing with complex non-routine matters communication by email or text might be the least effective way of facilitating a meaningful conversation.

Sometimes I am puzzled, what really is the end game here, is it somehow desirable if face to face meeting and telephone conversations become redundant? Although we are working with machines we are all human so how can that possibly be a desirable goal? We must not forget the electronic communication and artificial intelligence will always be deficient in terms of the qualities that make us eminently human most importantly including compassion and humour. With so many of us sitting at home or at work in front of computer screens endlessly working through our inboxes from newest to oldest and oldest to newest trying to provide the highest level of customer service to our clients it is easy to forget how this technology was supposed to improve our lives.

Slowly though we are adapting, first with mumblings about an elusive concept called work/life balance and now with a grass roots movement to have more old-fashioned meetings and telephone calls. In my practice I have adopted a practice of scheduling short face to face meetings with clients who send emails looking for information or updates or if they have other questions about how their insurance claim is being adjusted under the current Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule. It just adds a human touch that cannot be accommodated in the multi-tasking world of the email inbox. It is a very simple thing, a few minutes of human interaction with personal focus on one person, one question, one task at a time. At the end of the day we have to remember that the computer is a tool, not our boss and we must get out of the habit of mildly answering emails and instead allocate priorities, the first priority being how we allocate our time and organize our demands so that they are realistic for us as individuals. Just thought I would take a few minutes out of my busy day and try to figure out why I am so busy. My computer has no understanding of human limitations.

Lisa Morell Kelly - Lisa@morellkelly.com

Morell Kelly Professional Corporation