Use technology to communicate better

The title seem lame:  use technology to commuincate better.  I hear often that we already use too much technology and not enough face-to-face real life communicaiton.

It seems many of us had enough of fragmented, tedius, limiting technology communicaiton in text messaging, both in forms of e-mail and homepages including blogs.  In the world of web 2.0, it was still up to us to organize what we thought into 2D ways.

This again will probably sound lame, but we’re finally on the verge of becoming closer to our traditional way, face-to-face, of communicatin using technology.  ICT – information communication technology.

I realized this when I was giving seminar yesterday.  In 1.5 hour long seminar, the biggest (and perhaps the only!) reaction I had from the audience of about 90 Japanese business people was when I did a demonstration on how I use webcam at home to communicate with my kids.   All I did was connect with webcam at home, looking into our living/dining room with the audience on the big screen, and called my 11 year-old son on the phone connected to the conference room speaker system.  The audience went ahhhh!  and clapped when I asked my son to say hello to the people with me and to take a bow, and he did them.  I was amazed with the reaction of the audience.  It made me realize that this thing that I take for granted, which I do regularly has become normal way for me to communicate with my child was not available a few years back.  This realtime seeing and hearing the natural behavior of a person to talk to them seem like the key.  I think audience resonated, because they saw the real setting of dinner time on the screen, how I connected with my son who’s in a totally different environment then the one I was in at the moment, saw the body language as well as the voice of an 11 years old, tense and a bit embarracced from knowing he’s being seen by adults, sympathized with him.  It made me realize that by installing this easily available inexpensive webcams, we’ve stumbled onto something next to the traditinal way of communication.

My husband installed the webcam at our home about 2 years ago.  At first I HATED it, feeling like my privacy was being invaded.  But then when the kids got excited having their father looking at them via webcam, I decided that it was actually a good thing.

Currently, there’s so much issue about privacy and security.  There are many people in the world who encroach on privacy and security to make money.  But if we can somehow overcome our own fear and pre-conceptions, technology will allow us to be more human at workplace than perhaps we have been for the past 50 years.

If only we keep on learning how to use technology to communicate better.

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