From the Editor: Technology Today

May 27, 2009
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With summer here, children can often be found heading off to camp. You may have heard the stories about teens being forced to unplug at camp. The generation that doesn’t remember life before texting, Facebook and computers is leaving their cell phones, laptops and iPods at home to enjoy the great outdoors, s’mores and sharing a cabin with complete strangers.

As can be expected, many of the teens are a bit nervous about camp because they are dependent on digital technologies to communicate with others.

A group of teens in Philadelphia was challenged to go 10 days without phones, computers, iPods and video games. David Silver, one of the teens who accepted the technology-less assignment, said giving up the technology wasn’t the difficult part; figuring out what to do with his free time proved to be the challenge.

Silver, who sent an average of 14,000 text messages per month, started doing his homework, going to the gym, had face-to-face conversations with his friends and reconnected with his family.

There’s much to be said for technology. In some respects, technology has made our lives and jobs easier and more efficient. But with so much information coming at us from all different directions in a variety of mediums, sometimes I long for the simpler days of flashlight tag, monkey bars, all-day baseball games at the park and lemonade stands.

In some instances, I do enjoy the technologies of yesteryear. I am one of the dwindling number of Americans who walks down to the end of the driveway every morning and opens an honest-to-goodness newspaper to get my news each morning. There’s just something about the smell of the paper and the newsprint rubbing off on my hands that can’t be replicated with a computer screen and mouse.

That’s not to say that I don’t get any of my news online-in fact, I do a great bit of reading for this job online. Therein lies the beauty of technology, it allows us to receive information in a variety of ways-ways in which we choose to receive it. And Quality Magazine delivers the information you need in multiple ways.

Not only does Quality Magazine offer the monthly print edition, we offer a digital edition of the monthly issues, e-newsletters as well as podcast and videos. Quality Magazine also is part of the social networking site LinkedIn. We have our own annual Quality Measurement Conference and offer webinars.

Work duties aside, I wouldn’t have a problem unplugging. Would you be able to quit cold turkey or would unplugging be a challenge? Could you make it 10 days or longer without your phone or computer like the teens in Philadelphia? Share your stories with me at campbellg@bnpmedia.com or with other readers on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1876808.

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