As a marketing strategist who started my business in the social media early years, I’ve spent a lot of time using and observing technology and how it impacts us and our business. I’ve come to realise, now more than ever, there is good, bad, and ugly with technology. Especially for me and my business – and probably yours too.

From a young age my Mum told me I could do anything and be anything I wanted. This really instilled in me a love of reading and learning – I wanted to know everything I could. That curiosity remains with me today and has led to so many positives.

When I first started using technology, on our brand new computer with a fancy CD ROM, I was hooked. It gave me access to all of this new information (and this was before the internet, boy was my mind going to be blown). One of the first CDs we used was an encyclopedia – it was hard to believe that the stack of heavy books on the shelf could be condensed. But I realised it meant I had access to more information than ever.

I guess that’s one of the polarising aspects about technology – the amount of information you can access. At least back then there was some control over what type of information was published – with the internet now anyone can publish anything – who cares if it’s true or correct (or damaging or hateful)?

I’ve spent a lot of my time in business trying to educate and inform people with the right information. 

I would worry with all the incorrect posts I would see on social media. One of the main reasons I had started the business in the first place was because I was worried small businesses were being taken advantage of and if they were being exposed to this – so the incorrect advice online really pushed my buttons.

I soon found the wrong or misleading stuff would spread like wildfire and the attempts to share the “right” knowledge would be like pulling teeth.

THE GBU (GOOD, BAD & UGLY) RANKING

  • Access to Information – Good
  • Information Overwhelm – Bad
  • Wrong Information Spreading – Ugly

When I started the business I was driven by (and still am) the knowledge that social media and technology gave smaller businesses the chance to really compete with the bigger guys – or at least be seen without having to spend big dollars. 
And it did. But now we have a generation of businesses who expect coverage, reach and publicity to cost them nothing. Those who have been in business for a while know at some point you will need to invest – whether time or money in your advertising and marketing.

With technology, we are now just much more aware of everything.

At one time I was the only social media consultant in my regional city. Then I would go online and it seemed there was a “social media guru” around every corner or Facebook post.

I found technology and the ability to be part of so many communities saw me spiral (many times) into deep comparisonitis. The time I spent on seeing what others were doing soon turned to many hours and sometimes days wondering why they were successful and I was struggling. Perhaps it was simply the fact I was stuck in one place, not taking action.

I knew logically I shouldn’t keep looking but it became part of my regular habits and an easy way to procrastinate from the scary step for me of showing up and sharing who I was.

THE GBU RANKING

  • Reaching new audiences – Good
  • Comparing yourself to everyone and finding yourself lacking – Bad and Ugly

Technology has created the sense we always need to be ‘doing’ rather than just ‘being’. As a new business owner, trying to justify themselves and build a customer base, I had this sense that I had to be at the computer – be seen to be working. 
It’s kind of crazy really because even if I was sitting at my work desk in my office it didn’t actually mean I was achieving anything – I was probably just scrolling social media and going from website to website, making myself feel worse and getting completely overwhelmed.

In fact, I want to cry when I think about the time I spent doing that when instead I could have gone out for coffee or a walk and achieved more. Or at least I would have felt better.

THE GBU RANKING

  • Time saved – Good
  • Time spent procrastinating – Bad
  • Bad manners and nasty behaviour – Ugly

One of the major ugly sides can be the reach of technology – it seems we’re always attached. Our social media pages are ranked on how quickly we respond to people – it doesn’t matter if we are solo operators or doing this as a side job.

We take our phones everywhere and there are few places we can now escape technology or being reachable. Even aircraft now provide wifi. Technology means we can often feel confined and boxed in.

Our brains rarely get the chance to rest or relax. Or dare I say it – daydream? Today as I looked out the window I realised it had been far too long since I allowed myself that simple gesture.

And the one area I was so sure technology would make a heap easier is breaking my shyness or social awkwardness. It didn’t happen.

Yes, I have made some great friends online but it has taken a lot of time to find my people and I still feel completely out of place in groups full of thousands – and especially with those who have well-established relationships.

I started to notice my own sense of self-esteem had decreased being online and eventually I felt completely invisible.

The need of wanting to be seen or heard online made me feel even more alone. This was one of my initial warning signs that I had lost a sense of myself and also I was placing too much emphasis on what others were doing.

THE GBU RANKING

  • Connecting with new people – Good
  • Having to remain connected – Bad
  • Feeling invisible -Ugly

Now with a lot of experience and a clearer sense of who I am and what I need to function well, I’ve learnt to minimise the bad and ugly aspects of technology and focus on the good things that technology brings me and my business.

I’m confident to say technology has brought so much more good to me. But I’ve learnt the most from the bad and ugly.

The reality is technology can only amplify actions from the real world – good, bad or ugly. 

AS SEEN IN ISSUE 20 OF ROOOAR MAGAZINE.
DOWNLOAD THE LATEST ROOOAR MAGAZINE HERE.

guest writer:

Gemma Moore is a spark finder, a word spinner and a marketing strategist who loves helping women business owners find and share their SPARK with the world. Gemma specialises in writing winning business award submissions and creating successful Facebook Ad campaigns.

Find Gemma at Red Spark Communications

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