How to Thrive in the Digital Age


[YouTube 17:25embedding was disabled, so you will need to follow the link to watch the video]

It is now normal for a human being to be connected in some form to everyone else. This highlights something we cannot possibly conjure more up of: and that is time. In some way, the story of technology is how machines have thrown away old ways that used to be terribly expensive.

This is the opening of a School of Life Live talk by Tom Chatfield. Remember when the machines were incredibly cumbersome and slow? Now, increasingly the limits are with us, the amount of time and attention we have to spend is limited.

This means we have to think very differently about our time in a digital age. We need to apportion it differently, if we are to apportion it wisely.

All time is indeed not created equal.

Chatfield offers three ideas on how to make use of technology in a way that lets you savor its benefits without being a time sink:

(1.) What works best plugged and unplugged?

This question will uncover two very different kinds of relating, both of which we need to function well.

(2.) What works best for me?

A different version of this question was the topic of a couple of conversations here — has Web 2.0 made you happier? (for the responses, see this post).

(3.) What does technology want me to do?

This final question echoes Kevin Kelley's thoughts in his book What Technology Wants, which was the inspiration behind my Ignite Austin talk on uploading humanism.

Social networks and email are designed to pull us in (and so are the newer LinkedIn one-click recommendations). This reminds me of something Paul Ford said (emphasis mine):

have a fundamental need to be consulted, engaged,
to exercise
their knowledge

(and thus power), and no other medium that came before [the web] has been able
to tap into that as effectively.

It's up to us to be deliberate about the meaning of connection. Online, we constantly worry about falling on Page 2it is valuable connections that keep us on page one.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover
the value of promises and its effect on relationships and
. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her to speak click here.

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