TECHNO MODERATION

Some excellent advice: ‘Put some glitter on it’

Luis Almeida
Posted 8/5/17

Sometimes being moderate is very bland. You don’t stand out. You blend in. You are neither good nor bad. However, moderation isn’t always so bland a topic. As my wife says, “Put some glitter on …

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TECHNO MODERATION

Some excellent advice: ‘Put some glitter on it’

Posted

Sometimes being moderate is very bland. You don’t stand out. You blend in. You are neither good nor bad. However, moderation isn’t always so bland a topic. As my wife says, “Put some glitter on it.”

In a world of techno-obsessions, techno-addictions and techno-phobics be techno-moderate. Neither good nor bad, just very bland. Why? Because it will save you from the extremes. In this world we need both human speech and information technology.

I am a full believer in the power of human speech. What the great orators have done to their respectful societies is literally amazing. In 300 BC, statesman Demosthenes persuaded Athenians to become more patriotic. The French Priest Peter the Hermit, in the middle ages, influenced over 100,000 pilgrims to go on a crusade to Jerusalem in order to rescue the Holy Land from the followers of Mohammed.

In modern times, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. inspired many to “dream” of a more equal society during pre-civil rights times. Very few Americans can deny that Ronald Reagan was a highly influential American leader especially because of his ability to speak well in public. However, the times are changing. Speech isn't the only powerful tool that both men and women can use to influence anymore. Ladies and gentlemen — in contemporary America, we have information technology or shall we say more directly, “social media.”

In 2017, a man without the ability to engage in what communicators call “mediated communication” is handicapped. There is little doubt that technology has assisted the human race with its communication and life pursuits beyond speech. Today, there are over 200 million internet blogs where folks share unique ideas and it’s growing.

Currently over 80 percent of companies hire new talent using the social media tool LinkedIn. Back in 2010, 12.5 percent of couples met through a social media site. More than 1 billion people today have active Facebook accounts. Because of technology, millions of people are able to share their thoughts and beliefs to the masses, are able to find jobs and mates, and to complement it all, technology has been assisting us with keeping in contact with former friends, family and co-workers on social media sites like Facebook. So, technology isn't always bad or evil, and much can be gained because of its existence.

Back in 2013, I had the misfortune of falling from a motorcycle and getting a severe concussion. If it wasn't because of the “impact test” and all the technologies that physicians can use to treat patients suffering from traumatic brain injuries, I would probably have been mentally incapacitated somewhere in the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pa.

I can attest to you that technology saved my life! Not to say that I was wearing a helmet, which in itself, is technology. If anyone tells you that technology is not a good thing, don't believe them. With things being fair, though, much like water, too much technology can make you very sick, sometimes causing you to experience severe side effects. This is why moderation is key! Please realize that moderation isn’t synonymous with elimination.

I like information technology and all the benefits that it gives us. By the way, can you imagine banking without computers? How about retail stores operating without credit card machines? Do you enjoy the benefits of having bluetooth and WiFi? I do, and I bet that you enjoy these luxuries, as well.

Now, the former isn't to say that we should completely ignore human communication. Nothing can be further from the truth. More than ever, we need to be trained in public speaking these days, as communication off-line is as important as having good mediated communication abilities.

I have to admit that my deep appreciation for the great orators of antiquity will never die. What they have done for us has changed the way we live and operate in society. However, the power of human communication can only go so far.

Technology, from this standpoint at least, enables some of us to go from being voiceless to being vocal, to share, cry and celebrate.

———

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and TEDx speaker. He has been nationally featured for his work in leadership and technology by the Wall Street Journal, ABC-Jackson, TEDxPhoenixville, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Voice of America and the Indiana Gazette. Internationally, Dr. “A” has been featured in several outlets, including the prestigious O Globo newspaper and Radio CBN. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at luiscalmeida.info.)

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