What Everyone is Doing Wrong with Technology:
Don’t worry, even I’m guilty of some of these …
1. You’re on your Phone or Tablet too much. Phones and tablets aren’t generally made for creating content, but rather for consuming. I consume content on my phone all the time, but I can get more done in 10 minutes on my laptop that I can do in hours on my phone. Just because a device is with you all the time doesn’t mean you should try to use it for everything.
2. Using the sentence “yeah, I don’t know how to do that.” Every time I bring up something I’ve been working on or trying to learn, someone says this sentence. Whenever I find myself using the words “I don’t know how to do that”, I automatically include the phrase “but I’m learning” or “but I want to learn from you” or “But I’m going to learn”.
3. Not learning new things, or giving up too easily. Ok, this is similar to the one before it. But you have to stop thinking that if you can’t learn something in 30 seconds, or if you didn’t learn it in high school, you’re not going to learn it. Take time away from watching TV and learn something. For instance, Adobe Photoshop is hard and has a steep learning curve, but when you accomplish something, it’s extremely rewarding. Stan Lee started creating Spiderman at 39, and now he’s 91. He’s clearly still learning.
4. Not having a website or a blog. I meet tons of great people who are accomplishing amazing things. The stories they tell me are incredible. Do they have a blog? No. Do they have a website that’s regularly being updated with these amazing things? No. How on earth is anyone else supposed to know about your stories, ideas, or vision?
5. Not using RSS feeds. Do you go to the same websites every day to see what’s new? This one will save you so much time, you’ll wonder how you ever used the internet before. Read my instructions for setting us RSS feeds here.
6. Not using Twitter for conversations. I recently read an article that said “Facebook is for the friends you already have. Twitter is for the friends you’re going to have.” The two aren’t the same, and being on one doesn’t mean you don’t need to use the other. Similarly, following celebrities isn’t really using Twitter. Broadcasting messages about your brand, your business, your goals, or what you had for breakfast isn’t really using Twitter either. Find a conversation you’re interested in, start listening, then start exchanging ideas.
7. Not adapting to new software and services. Things move forward. Sometimes, you don’t know the appeal of a certain technology, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad – it just might not being used correctly. When I first heard about Instagram, I only saw people posting pictures of food, so I wasn’t interested. Now that I’m on it, I’ve realized that it’s about capturing the moment with the device you’ve got in your hand already. It’s not about conversations (conversations are actually harder than necessary on Instagram, and there’s no messaging feature) and it’s not about selfies. It’s about saving that moment the best way possible for and sharing it for those who aren’t there. Sometimes, you have to stop and ask yourself what could be accomplished with the medium. (Confession – I still don’t get Pinterest. I need to take my own advice.)
8. Not answering an email because you read it on your phone. Email has become almost the same as text messaging due to the mobile availability factor. I rarely sit down and write a long email anymore, but recently I received a detailed, thoughtful message from a colleague that reminded me of the feeling I used to get when I received an email. We need to work on bringing that back.
9. Using a device for the wrong thing. Just because your iPad takes pictures does not mean you should hold it up at a concert to take pictures with. It’s a feature that makes me realize how much people try to show off what devices they have.
10. Not being painfully honest, or hiding behind an online persona. We’re past hiding behind a PC now. Be proud of who you are, and recognize that you’re responsible for how you come across. Put your best foot forward, but don’t waste time arguing with trolls or trying to justify your actions. If someone searches for you on Google, make sure they can find you, and what they see is favorable.
I’ve got great stories about each one of these examples. Look for them in future posts!