We are all bombarded with invites, offers, news, connections and an overload of information from the web on a daily basis. The proliferation of communications that can reach us anywhere, anytime with anything and everything has and is at times overwhelming to say the least.
With so much information surrounding us and our passion for quick answers we miss the value of learning and creating relations with meaning. Those that have learned to optimize our attention already have a significant advantage over others. Our attention is really the driver to getting personal and professional leverage. The Social Web is the means which enables leverage, you can reach and give to a mass or swarm verses a few or a small gathering. Those who can accomplish the greatest leverage will be those that gain the most in The Relationship Economy. Those that adopt, or I should say, transform their thinking and trust in the essence of human relations and the value of technology will perpetuate value faster than ever before. However, we are all becoming overwhelmed with choices.
The Dynamics We are all Facing Becomes the Paradox of Choice.
In any given day our business and personal task include hundreds of technological exchanges which we use to increase our reach, gather new information, improve our learning, expand relations and try to enrich those we already have relations with, both on and off line. In the midst of all this activity we also try to insure our family's economic future while trying to leverage the value of technology to do more with less.
The accelerating expansion of knowledge and technology simultaneously is pushing up the demand curve while pushing down the supply curve of time. When technology explodes choices become more valuable as they become more plentiful and subsequently overloading one's ability to assimilate. The only factor which is becoming scarce is our time and attention. Since psychology has a label for everything we will label this "TADD", Technological Attention Deficit Disorder!
Daily we are bombarded with new functions and features which are aimed at facilitating faster, more meaningful reach, proposed new efficiency and a host of other value propositions. However, for those of us involved and using all of this technology the one thing that needs to happen, and will, is integrative technological breakthroughs that enable us to better manage our time through one interface by segment of use. Once this happens then we will see the creation of a new economy that enables individuals to better balance their time and use it wisely for whatever personal and professional aim. Until then a few are bearing the burden that comes with learning new technology but once lifted the old burden will become the value we can pass on to the masses so collectively we can gain more time to create more value.
But where should we spend our time and energy? It's obvious nearly everyone desires to have choices in life. And when we don't get to make the choice in an area we may consider as important in our lives - we often resist because we enjoy our freedom and don't like being forced to do anything. But what almost no one realizes is that there's a very real limit to the number of choices we can enjoy. And when you cross that line, choice goes from good to bad awfully fast.
Just because some choice is good, doesn't mean that even more choices is better. The first effect of too many choices tends to be paralysis. We have too many options to choose from so we can't choose at all. I see this all the time in Internet marketing and with small business owners.
There are so many different ways to leverage social computing and so many opinions on the right way to do it. What ends up happening is we go out looking for the "right" way to do things often finding ourselves going down a rabbit trail of confusion which naturally leads to inaction. And experts tell us they see this all the time - the more choices we have the greater our belief that there is a perfect solution or perfect place for us somewhere buried deep within the choices.
What follows is predictable... the stronger our belief that there is a perfect solution out there (whatever perfect means) the more we end up searching for that perfect solution- wasting more time than is really necessary or appropriate. Unfortunately it doesn't end there. Because the more convinced we are there's a perfect solution out there, the less likely we will be happy with our final decision since it never lives up to the false belief of the perfect solution.
If You Think More Is Better...Than You Don't Know Yourself As Well As You Think
A consistent problem we all have is the conviction that more is always better than less. But the truth is most people don't really know themselves that well (of course we all think we do). That's why most people don't know what's good for themselves.
So we go around joining more networks, learning and using more technology with the mistaken belief that all of this activity will pay off in the end. But the truth is the polar opposite. Because as the number of networking tactics you know climbs, mastery in any of them plummets. And online this is even more costly than offline. Since the social networking space is exploding we are being swamped with invitations to join numerous networks and most of the time it is from people we're already connected with in another network, go figure!
My daily technological interactions include dependence on: two cell phones, a blackberry, a Macintosh and a Windows based computer, a GPS navigation system with XM Satellite integrated into my automobiles interface, numerous online tools including technocrati, stumbleupon, Google Reader, Web mail, Word Press, Yahoo Forums, Linkedin, Facebook and a host of other social computing sites, Feedblitz, Wikipedia, Wikispace, Mashable, Twitter, Plaxo, MyBlogLog, Blog Carnival, Numerous Widgets, Digital Cable TV, Skype and numerous other technology things, Whew, I am technologically overload and it is stealing my time!
Excuse me for a few moments, I just got invited to seven more networks, I have over 100 invitations waiting to connect with people throughout numerous communities, I have three chats going on Skype at the same time and several friends are asking me to post in their new community, and someone just invited me to try out a new organization technology promising to save me time....back to my interruptions and subsequent choices. Oh yeah, my wife just bought a new car and wants me to help her figure out how to sync her cell phone with the audio system in the car. I think I have TADD!
The Relationship Economy should make our choices simpler and give us our time back.
Can You Relate? What say you?