Picture this: Your telephone rings. You answer the call. You then press a button and the person on the other end of the line appears as a hologram. It sounds like a scene from Star Trek (or the much buzzed about Michael Jackson hologram performance at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards). But holographic technology may indeed be how we communicate in the future. And, it is closer to becoming reality than you may think. Are you ready?
The most recent New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) “Coffee & Conversations” panel discussion, led by our CEO (and immediate past NYWICI president) Liz Kaplow, explored that future. Experts weighed in on the pros and cons of new communications technologies, like holograms, and their impact on how we communicate —professionally and personally. Sparks & Honey Chief Culture Strategy Officer Sarah DaVanzo (outfitted in a pair of Google glasses), Parenting magazine Editor-in-Chief Dana Points and BlogHer CEO Lisa Stone joined in the conversation and offered several “aha” moments.
- We need physical contact, too. Video technology has brought us very close. But, in-person interactions are a must-have for meaningful relationships, whether it’s with your coworkers, clients or kids. A good relationship has a balance of both.
- Focus is just as important as intelligence – think FQ, not IQ! Our ability to process more information quickly, listen mindfully and stay focused will be a critical indicator of productivity — and success at work. If you are struggling with any of these three, there are meditation techniques that can help you avoid information overload.
- Emoticons are here to stay. I used to brush them off as a fad. Today, emoticons are an integral part of my daily communications at work and at home. People have learned to use them to express feelings, and reduce ambiguity, in text messages or emails. Until they create an emoticon for sarcasm, however, some feelings are still better expressed “offline.” 😉
- Think like a “Gen Z.” Millennials are now having babies. Generation Z is surrounded by technology before coming out of the womb. They are our future consumers, and our future leaders. We need to start thinking now about how to connect with them — this is a must for communications professionals.
- Technology helps the shy be less shy. Digital communications can help introverted children communicate and stay connected with others, in particular when they are struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness that could stay with them as adults. With parental guidance and discretion, new innovations can help kids come out of their shells.
New communications technologies will continue to emerge and society will continue to adapt and evolve with them. And that’s a good thing – if we use the right technologies in the right ways. Ironically, despite all our technological advancements, the ancient practice of mindfulness can still be the most effective tool in our communications arsenal.