The Journey Of Technology By Claudine Halpern

For My Elder, technology is a powerful tool that we can use to achieve our goals and provide valuable services to our clients.

 

I once read a story where the protagonist went to a fortune teller.  She gave him 3 still pictures of his life in lieu of a fortune, the first was him with a woman, the second was him with a child and the third was him alone.

The man spent the next 20 years looking for the woman and child in the picture and closed off any relationship that did not look like that woman.  He also was sure that he would have a child who looked like the child in the picture.

Fast forward 20 years, he meets up with the fortune teller and confronts her, “you told me I would have a wife and child, you lied”.   She then tells him that two of the pictures did happen, before he came to her. The only future picture was the one of him alone, and he made sure that happened by not opening himself to the daily life that was being lived around him while he was looking for the picture-perfect future.

What does this have to do with social media? Let me explain.    

In the early 1990’s I was working on the first commercial application on this new framework called the internet.  We built a desktop application, with direct IP addressing as there were no browsers. The project was canceled when Mosaic Browser launched in 1993.

In 2002, one of my son’s friends suggested that I sign up to Friendster, and then Myspace, to keep in touch with everyone as they traveled and moved through their lives.

Also in 2002, a colleague suggested that I sign up for this small group called Linkedin,  it had about 1000 members, mostly in technology.

The birth of the internet was more like an evolution than birth, and I realized early on that I needed to curate my online presence so that it fulfilled my professional goals.

“We live our experiences in portrait mode” says Gary Vaynerchuk, that means that every experience that we have is altered online to show the view that we want the world to see, this distorts reality and makes us think that everyone else, besides us, is having a picture-perfect life.

This also means that anything that we do online is available to anyone who wants to see it.  There are some radical approaches to dealing with online content. One is to say that we will never post online, another is to put everything out there and not care about our professional image and privacy.   

There is also an approach that looks at our online life only for monetization, which is also a radical approach.

The internet and social media are tools, they are not strategies. They give us the power to accomplish things, but they don’t tell us what to accomplish, what our goals are, or how to get from point A to point B, that’s our job.

At MyElder, we believe in using all the tools that are available to us to accomplish our strategic goals, but the strategy is the key.  If the tools fail, find other tools, if the strategy fails, don’t blame the tools.

The assumption that technology is for the young is a total fallacy. Technology is for the people who want technology. Age is not a differentiator in this space.

We are in the midst of a revolution in the way we communicate, advertise, sell product and, collect and deliver information, and provide services.  The first phase of the revolution, with a massive shift from anything not internet to everything internet is complete. These changes will finesse but won’t happen again.

I wish I knew what is next.  I do know a few things

Assuming that the internet is going away is ludicrous.

Assuming that the internet solves all problems is ludicrous.

Assuming that providing all physical services for a human via the internet is ludicrous, we still have bodies, emotions and the need to connect.  

But, assuming that we can ignore the internet in all its flavors is also ludicrous.

We at My Elder search for the best possible ways to use the tools available to us, to both grow our business and increase our value to our customers and the community at large.  

Our journey continues……………

 

My Elder provides elder advocacy services to families. Talk to us about long-term planning, finding the right home for your loved ones, preventing crisis and abuse, and ensuring they receive the best care possible.

 

Photo Credits: Frank Okay, Linda Castañeda