I am so excited to have started my career at a time with no internet, no cell phones, no email, no satellite radio, no laptops, no iPods (much less iPads and iPhones) and limited connectivity. If I had not started work in the 80’s, I don’t think I would hardly believe that such a world could exist. How were we productive back then and what the hack is thermal paper?
The biggest early advances with wide use at that time were fax machines and fed ex. I remember those times as just as hectic and fast paced as today. You could just as easily put in long hours even if you weren’t texting a colleague, taking a call on your drive home or logging into your email. And yet, you had more time for reflective thought, for independent thinking, for focus and for being decisive. You were also more susceptible to relying on individuals and relationships to get things done. No checking the web for reference or putting out bids online, you simply had to rely on the people you worked with.
Fast forward to today and I am just as addicted to digital mediums as the next guy. I go from device to device from wake up to bed time checking emails, texts, apps, sites and voice mail. In fact, television and books are actually fading from my daily repertoire very quickly. The last time I went for a good walk in the woods, I actually wound up sitting on a stump talking through my bluetooth headset for over 40 minutes about the prospects of a new global ice show tour.
Much like this rambling post, I don’t know where I’m going with this. And that may be the point. I don’t think anyone knows where they are going anymore. We are all just moving. With the world of information available at our finger tips and instant access and communication always within reach, isn’t it ironic… a little too ironic, that we don’t seem to be very good planners anymore. Last minute is the new plan ahead. Facebooking your friends is the new writing down of goals. Blogging is the new term paper. I try to think what it would be like to source everything originally these days. Or to take more than five minutes to source an opinion (most likely someone elses that appears to be an expert based on their SEO ranking).
I can only hope that somehow someday, my own kids will have to fend for themselves and find content from within to get through at least one business endeavor. No man is an island, but it wouldn’t hurt to visit one every now and then.
Check this out for a fun look at 1980’s computer history.