Computer technology is pervasive, a blessing and a curse. With the touch of a button you have access to an up to date picture of inventory, sales, and cash on hand. Assuming, of course, you have been disciplined about keeping this information current.
Technology is great when it works. Most importantly, it doesn’t always work. With a population of approximately 490,000 people, the city of Atlanta discovered what happens to technology when it is attacked by cyber ware. Five of thirteen departments were hit. Services were disrupted. Some departments resorted to paper records. When technology failed, old school methods rose to the occasion.
We rely on technology. Maybe too much. Do you remember the last time you had to recall someone’s telephone number? Consult a paper map for directions is unheard of today. Just ask for directions from your phone or the navigation system in your car.
How do you make good use of technology without turning in your common sense? There are still some quaint, old school methods that are important to learn and to use.
Old School Methods for Today
- Know the cardinal directions of North, South, East and West. Since 2015 the US Naval Academy has required its seamen to learn how to use a sextant for celestial navigation.
- Take notes with a pencil and paper. Only do this is you want better retention of what you are learning.
- Write thank you notes by hand and mail them using a stamp. I prefer a colorful, interesting stamp. Email and texting may be faster. Nothing is as thrilling as receiving a thoughtful handwritten note by mail.
- Use electronic communication wisely. I wouldn’t want to be without it. A face to face conversation or meeting is an opportunity to read body language and facial expressions. Spies prefer face to face because it’s the most secure form of communication.
- Be comfortable doing basic multiplication and division long hand. You know like 3 x 5 = 15 or 1200 ÷ 150 = ___________.
- Drive without texting. Period.
Some ways to use old school methods to keep them in good working order: When the navigation system in your car says “Turn west on Sharon Road,” check the position of the sun to decide which way to turn. Or, at your next conference use pen and paper to make notes.
Use the power of technology wisely. Remember to give old school methods their due respect. Both have their place in a rapidly changing world.
© 2018 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved