Are You Drowning in Technology?

Do you feel as if you are drowning in the sea of new technology? Linked In, Jott, Twitter, Second Life, Ning, FaceBook, MySpace, YouTube, Google Docs... It can be overwhelming if you feel as if you must do it all. Before you give up and sink completely, let me throw you a life vest.

Partly as an experiment, this week I "Linked In" with 23 new people, I wrote on wall of my daughter's facebook account, sent five Jott messages to myself to remind me to submit proposals that were due (my memory isn't as good as it used to be). I also attended 3 Second Life learning events and helped someone from Sun Microsystems set up an avatar and then gave them a virtual tour to see IBM's campus, ASTD's island, and we capped off our tour with a visit to the Sistine chapel before chatting in the breakout room on Synapse 3Di campus. It was way cool.

I followed my husbands accounts at a tech conference using Twitter and set up a Ning account after reading an article about this new social networking tool in Fast Company. As a professional speaker and trainer, I don't really have the need for all of these tools, but I am enjoying exploring each and finding the business applications that fit my business.

Some tools have an immediate application like Jott (www.Jott.com) My daughter's soccer coach uses this to send a blast out to the entire team and their parents using his cell phone, and his voice message converts to text and email. I will definintely be using this to connect with the board members I serve with. I also love the Flip Video camcorder I recently purchased. I intereviewed a few folks at an event I was speaking at and then uploaded the footage immediately to YouTube to email to them. As I look around at the "hyperconnected" gen Ys that are in our workplaces, I wonder just how we are going to incorporate all of the techno-toys that we use(and I certainly don't mean to categorize myself with the Gen Ys).

We will have to make some adjustments to allow for these familiar tools or we may be in for a revolt. Those under the age of 35 are considered "digital natives." They grew up using these tech tools, and they can barely live without them for a day. Those of us over the age of 35 (okay WAY OVER the age of 35) are considered "digital immigrants" trying to immigrate into this foreign land of technology. Some of us immigrate faster than others.

I am a "Digital Immigration Officer." My role here at Synapse 3Di is to help those of us who might be venturing out, dipping our toes into the digital waters, to have a fun and safe experience. If you are a digital immigrant, find a mentor under the age of 25. Watch them, listen to how they talk, study how they stay connected with their network. Put on the life vest of adventure and jump in. Do you want a free virtual tour in Second Life? Call me and then come on in, the waters fine!

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