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@ThingsExpo: Blog Post

Humans vs. Technology - Digital Intrusions By @KRBenedict | @ThingsExpo #IoT

In a world filled with hyper-stimulating digital content - thinking, learning and the development of intellectual assets suffer

In a world filled with millions of instances of hyper-stimulating digital content - thinking, learning and the development of intellectual assets suffer.  In a recent article I authored titled It's Time to Make Technology Disappear(http://www.futureofwork.com/article/details/its-time-for-technology-to-disappear), I shared that technology has become a hindrance to my thinking, a distraction to thoughtful, productive work. I love technology, but it has reached the point where it has overwhelmed my senses, and I doubt I am the only one.

Thoughtful thinking, and by that I mean thinking that utilizes analysis, comparisons, judgment, creativity, planning, forecasting and imagining requires dedicated time to ponder, formulate and connect ideas and thoughts. These activities require a mental focus void of interruptions.

I had the opportunity to manage teams of programmers for many years.  You quickly learn that quality programming requires dedicated time absent from distraction.  I read once that programmers, if interrupted, take 20 minutes to fully return to the level of mental concentration they had before interruption.  This is one of many reasons I turn off nearly all sound and visual alerts on my laptop and mobile devices.  It is hard enough focusing my own brain for long periods of time, let alone being bombarded by digital distractions.

In our personal multi-screen lives filled with alerts, notifications, reminders, news flashes, advertisements and 24x7 communications via smartphones and social media, it is easy to lose the storyline we each want for our own lives.  Our personal storyline is our past, present and future.  It is the story we want our lives to tell.  Recognizing our past storyline, determining how we want to change, and then ensuring we are taking the necessary steps to live it, takes focused thinking and time - all things we quickly lose under the onslaught of digital glimpses and instances.

In our professional lives we often have specific and routine deliverables, plus the increasing request to help our employers innovate, create, invent and digitally transform.  Our routine deliverables and tasks often benefit greatly from technology that improves productivity (and by the way can often be done by robots), but unless we can "make technology disappear" into the background, it inhibits our human ability to think thoughtfully about important future business and digital transformation issues.  If we are to claim and protect our humanity among all of the digital distractions, we are going to need to figure out a way to control both ourselves and our technologies.

More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services. He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.

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