I do love my tech. Seems I’m not alone. An entire generation loves to Netflix and chill. Not even my 82-year-old mother can live without her smartphone. And now we have Google Home, Alexa and VR are popping up in houses all over the world.
Well, it’s not all good news. According to Norway’s Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research, when they analyzed some 730,000 IQ tests given to Norwegian men before their compulsory military service from 1970 to 2009, IQ scores actually dropped.
Put another way, as tech increases, the dumber we become.
I’ve always had a good memory as I memorized an entire two-hour play in a month back in Junior High. Then in college, I had to participate in a Japanese play and with three hours before go time, the director approached me to see if I could not only do my part (I was the lead actor) but also that of my co-lead actress who had come down with laryngitis. I knew no one else could step in, so I sat down and rewrote the lines to make sense for one. The audience never knew.
At one point, I had memorized 81 of my friends’ telephone numbers. I was so good that people used to call me just to ask for other people’s numbers.
Today, I know mine and my wife’s. That’s it.
iPhones, iPads, and computers have allowed us to free up space in our heads to do other things. Unfortunately, as I learned from numerous personal development programs is nature abhors a vacuum. The result is that space gets filled, but with what? That’s the million-dollar question.
I used to fill it with TV, video games and the Top 40 music hits.
Thankfully I came across Jim Rohn and he set me straight. I followed his advice and turned my car “into a mobile classroom.” He also taught me to be a good reader and to “capture” everything.
I guess his influence has rubbed off on me because just yesterday when I was chatting with an acquaintance I hadn’t seen for a while, I whipped out my iPhone and started taking notes.
It’s something I don’t see most people do.
Most people I know whip out their phones when people mention a good movie, a new restaurant in town or something on Amazon they have to check out. I do that, too.
But first and foremost, I’m on the lookout for ideas. Ideas for new articles. Ideas for my presentations. Ideas for future products. Ideas for my coaching clients. I’ve learned that you never know what ideas are going to be useful. What I do know is that if you don’t capture them, most of the time it’s pretty much in one ear and out the other.
I am reminded of something Steve Jobs said in a commencement speech when he mentioned that if he hadn’t dropped out of college, he might never have taken a calligraphy class and computers might not have the fonts we have all come to love and adore. He went on to say, that you only see in hindsight how the dots connect.
Whether it’s with clients or employees, I want them to write things down. It’s amazing how many people say, “It’s ok, I’ll remember it.” The sheer amount of information being bombarded at us via social media, email, SNS and TV is intense and they’re all vying for your attention. It’s not enough to think it, you’ve got to ink it.
As Jim liked to say in all his lectures, “Don’t trust your memory.”
Tech certainly has transformed our lives in so many ways, mostly for the better. Personally, tech allows me to increase my productivity ten-fold and has given me access to the most incredible minds in personal development. I’ve even gone on to work with a few of them.
The results have been nothing short of amazing. From a small-town English teacher to now one of the top productivity consultants.
But just as tech has allowed me to do so much, it has also caused people to spend hours on social media, enjoy GOT marathons and get lots in immersive computer worlds.
I made my choice.
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