Learning to love your inbox

The average person my age has more technology at their disposal than a CEO of just a few years ago. You’d think that as part of this technology cloud we’d become more effective at communication and organisation.

I believe it’s actually the opposite. The sheer volume of information that get’s thrown at today’s people is huge. Email, msn, skype, gmail, gmail chat, yahoo chat, blogging, rss, twitter that’s even before I get to facebook… I could go on. This wealth of information has a number of implications;

  1. Learning to love Information. We must love information and increase of capacity for handling it. We must work hard at filtering and capturing information. We must build become effective at categorization and systems that allow us to quickly and efficiently handle electronic communication.
  2. Organisation. In order to navigate this tricky world order it’s essential to be organised. Many people forget appointments because they fail to write them down or keep an up to date diary.
  3. Harnessing technology to be organised. The chances are that you have more technology at your fingertips than you know what to do with. It’s essential that you learn how to use it and find a system of organisation that works for you. If you think an iphone will make you organised then bully for you buy it. If you like a paper diary go for it. My point is something is better than nothing. Technology is your servant not your master.
  4. Communication. Multi layered approach to relationships is essential. We can no longer think of relationships as being primarily in person or primarily electronic. Communication takes place many levels we must embrace communication with people using diverse means at our fingertips to prevent misunderstandings. We must also learn the rules of various forms or communication (see my posts on email etiquette).
One could be tempted at this point to simply give up. For example the cry "Why bother? What a waste of time." This is to fall for the false view that because something can be used to waste time, it’s therefore a waste of time in itself. I think often this complaint stems from an inefficiency in the handling information rather then a problem with the thing itself.



mike said... 11/11/2008 10:33 pm  

No one reads longer posts...

Erica said... 11/11/2008 11:10 pm  

I read them! So true. I make more work for myself by not working out how to actually use technology. And get used to the long way very quickly. Ugh. Thanks for the reminder to do something about it :)

Laura said... 11/11/2008 11:57 pm  

the false view that because something can be used to waste time, it’s therefore a waste of time in itself

Very good insight, Mike!

Phil said... 11/12/2008 3:16 pm  

I love all my inboxes. Does that make me a polyemailist?

In all seriousness, I was reading on Mark Driscoll's blog about how during his latest sermons he gets people to SMS questions which he answers at the end of the service. I think that this is a great use of the 'impersonal' nature of technology, particularly with topics where you may not want to stand up in a crowd and identify yourself...

Laura said... 11/13/2008 1:36 am  

Phil, we've started doing that at my church too during the series on "Christian Liberty." That way people can ask if it's ok to smoke weed or gamble without getting dirty looks from everybody in church.

Post a Comment