Over the holidays, my mom suggested that my family stage a Words with Friends intervention. I told her to hang on a second, I was about to get “kudzu” on the triple letter and triple word. One hundred twenty-three points, baby.
She thinks my phone is the important relationship in my life, and for all practical purposes, maybe she’s right. I can’t imagine making a phone call, much less writing a letter to check in on a friend. But I do know that said friend is stressed out if she’s taking her WWF turn at midnight. Just think of all of the other useful knowledge and abilities my phone brings: I know all of my girlfriends’ maiden names, I can order shoes while riding on a train, and I can find a YouTube video on, well, anything.
The point is I would rather send an email, a text or connect online than pick up the phone. I have been driven to the edge of sanity by conference calls, live customer service is often a disappointment and a machine is usually more accurate. I get irritated when I can’t accomplish something online. It’s generational conditioning. We are comfortable with technology-enabled collaboration and openness. Ones and zeroes are inseparable from our very being.
As much as I think I’m on the edge, I can’t even fathom how far the Millennials will push technology in the social realm. Twenty-somethings consider email passé. YouTube is the second most popular search engine. Ashton and Ellen have more Twitter followers than the nation of Ireland has people. Facebook was translated by users into Spanish in under four weeks at no cost to Facebook.
My aunt still goes to the bank to pay her bills. My kids will chastise me for texting while they use their mind control nano-bots to give a holographic piano recitals in Prague.
Meanwhile, do you think “EARBUSH” is a word?
About the Author: Barbara Milhizer is a Partner at PeopleResults. She has over 15 years of experience designing talent programs and leading implementation. She was also responsible for building a global career transitions function for 200,000 people including new hire integration, internal career movement, outplacement, and alumni. Her innovative new media communication platforms have garnered citations from The Wall Street Journal and Workforce Magazine. Prior to joining PeopleResults, Barbara held the lead roles at Accenture in Global Total Rewards and Career Transitions. Contact Barbara on Twitter!