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Keep Up to Connect or Fall Behind!

Guest blog by Nicolle Germain, MBA

Throughout history, communication has been critical to our success as humans. Whether it is in your personal or professional life, how you connect with people has a huge impact on your well-being.

As humans have continued to create and discover, the way in which we interact with one another has changed. Today we are faced with a bombardment of ways in which we can connect with our network – whether it’s in person, on the phone, Skype, email, and through various social media outlets such as Twitter and LinkedIn amongst many others.
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Our relationships have also changed, today we can reach out to complete strangers at the click of a button, we can keep in touch with people on the other side of the world, we can get reviews and ratings on almost everything from online communities, and we can discover how small the world really is when we see how our networks are connected in ways we never imagined. I am sure you have said at some point “I can’t believe you know [insert person’s name], what a small world!”

Recently, I have witnessed the power of communication and the importance of connecting in new ways. My maternal grandma recently expressed interest in wanting to stay in touch with our large family better. But, that is easier said than done when you have 6 kids and 12 grandchildren spread across Western Canada to keep tabs on. She had felt it had become more and more challenging in recent years to keep in touch with everyone and had become disconnected with her “network”. Understanding that the environment in which she lived in had changed tremendously, she thought what better way to connect with her family then by adapting to her situation through technology.

Although this seems simple to the majority of us that have Smartphones, tablets, laptops, PVRs, etc. For someone who was born before the Great Depression, you know that this is daunting. Nonetheless, my 84 year-old grandma (with the help of some tech-saavy family members) got herself an email address and an iPad and has learned to communicate with our family in a whole new way. The look on her face when she showed me her digital photo album that housed pictures that had been sent to her via email was priceless. She was officially CONNECTED!

Technology in many ways has complicated our lives, but in so many it has united our world. I’m inspired that my grandma realized it’s never too late to learn something new. She serves as an example that we must challenge and expose ourselves to new opportunities to grow, learn and connect.

The long and short of this blog is a reminder on the importance of keeping up at the risk of falling behind. So, be open to new apps, social media platforms and technologies because you never know what benefits they will bring to you. Harness the change that takes place around you, be open to new ways to embrace technology in order to connect – as it’s not going anywhere!

Here are some quick tech tips:

Keep up-to-date on the latest technology trends (http://mashable.com is a great source).
Pick the brains of tehnology-saavy people you have in your network and learn what is working for them.
Don’t be afraid to explore and try new things (yes, technology can be intimidating!)
Focus on the possibilities and positive outcomes for your business or personal life!
Understand it takes time and effort to learn new things, so cut yourself some slack.
photo credit: blakespot via photopin cc

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