We have seen a massive shift in the way we communicate on every level, from communicating with co-workers and employees to communicating with friends and family. The way we communicate is changing because of technology, and if you don’t embrace these changes, you will be left behind.

In today’s business world, communication is no longer done only via a phone conversation or person to person; we communicate using a multitude of mediums. Most of us are pretty comfortable with print, radio and TV, but the whole idea behind social media, email and text is still taking some people awhile to accept. Many find it impersonal or a nuisance, but unfortunately, for those who were or are resistant,
it’s unavoidable.

I received a text from my high school-aged son recently, asking when we were going to have dinner. I responded with “as soon as you get home.” He responded with another text saying he was in the basement. To me, like many of you, that was a strange conversation, considering he was just in the other room…but to his generation, it’s normal. They are high-tech communicators.

I remember asking my parents how to spell something or what the definition of something was, and they responded with “look it up,” which meant open the encyclopedia or dictionary. Today, our kids have instant spell check and can click a button and get the answers before we can say “look it up.” Technology has made information accessible at our fingertips and made communicating with each other reach an entirely different level.

It’s the same in the workplace, where technology rules. We are in a strange place right now because some people think a fax machine is a new innovation, and there are others who use texting as their primary means of communicating. The strategy for business is to find a way to effectively communicate using the fax, text and everything in between.

For young workers (ages 18-25), texting, instant messaging and emails are just a way of life. A fax machine is foreign to many of them. They are also ready, willing and accepting that there will be new iterations of technology around every corner. They don’t see new versions of technology and look at it as “I have to get a new cell phone;” they look at it as “Cool, I get an upgrade…let’s see what else it can do.” They anticipate change and expect change more regularly.

Whether it’s a cell phone, social media or some other technology, we have to realize that we are dealing with totally new distribution channels. They have to be absorbed into our daily lives and into our regular use. They need to be used in addition to the old ways of communicating. There is a wide variety of technology out there, and it is changing rapidly and constantly. Accept it. Battling technology’s influence only diminishes your productivity level. iBi