We’ve all been struck by the lightening fast pace at which technology keeps changing. Facebook’s evolution is the latest case in point. Brian Solis calls this “Digital Darwinism”, and his recent post on the subject is quite provocative.
Sometimes it’s difficult to foresee the change is coming, let alone prepare to adapt to the change until it’s too late to do anything strategic or proactive. So we tend to just react; that usually does not stand us in good stead. Solis notes: recognizing the difference between emerging and disruptive technology and measuring its impact on your business, customer relationships, and products is a necessary discipline to successfully evolve…Find Brian’s original post here.
I love this notion of distinguishing between technology that is emerging, and potentially useful, and technology that just gets in our way. There’s a lot of noise out there. With so many technology choices, it’s tempting to either pick too many or pick none at all. In fact, there is a whole body of research in consumer psychology that confirms we are apt to become deer in the headlights when confronted with too much choice. It’s called analysis paralysis . Or, the paradox of choice.
Do you feel like a deer in the headlights when trying to figure out your social media plan? It’s no wonder. As consumers, we used to communicate with each other by one landline telephone and the U.S. postal service. We got our news from the daily local newspaper (everyone read the same one) and the nightly news. That was it. Period. We didn’t have to check our email, text messages, several different online news services, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, blogs, etc., etc., etc. With new apps and new social media platforms arriving every day, we are faced with an explosion of choices that leaves us with no opportunity to be unconnected.
We feel there is no excuse for failure when we have so many tools with which we can potentially succeed. Psychologist Barry Schwartz gives a great TED talk on this topic, ending up with the conclusion: The secret to happiness is low expectations. He points out that fish are better off in a fishbowl than outside of it. If you smash the bowl, seemingly “freeing” them, they have less chance to be successful. They will fail to thrive. We could all use the structure of a fishbowl in order to truly thrive.
What’s our purpose in upgrading (or downgrading) to a different structure? Are you just doing it because your neighbor did it? Or because you read an article about this being the newest/greatest/fanciest/hippest thing to do, so you think you should do it too if you want to be the coolest kid on the block?