In some ways I’m probably the last person to be writing a post about embracing technology when I do not own half the gadgets that many people do today. I really envy people who take to technology like a duck to water. But while I am slow to catch on to new things, that doesn’t mean I can’t, or shouldn’t.
After reading a great article about how to start a blog by EAPA web editor Marina London, I did just that in early 2011. I needed a little help learning how to import pictures, but I did the bulk of the work myself. I often tell people that if I can start a blog, anyone can do it! After writing hundreds of posts (I’m closing in on 400), I can’t imagine NOT having a blog.
If blogging seems old hat for many of you, don’t forget there was a time not that long ago when even emails were relatively new …. And not long after that there were concerns about their applicability in the clinical world. A 2008 article by EAPA pondered whether it was a good idea to use email on EAP websites. The article, EAP Emails: Peril or Opportunity? noted, “One website lists an email address, but then uses an oversized, red font, to warn: ‘This email address should be used only for general inquiries. Existing clients should contact us at the phone number listed above.’”
Certainly confidentiality is ALWAYS an important consideration in any electronic endeavor to be sure, and that remains true today! But bear in mind how controversial this article was eight short years ago. The point is: While a technological innovation might be fearful in the beginning, it often gets to be so commonplace one wonders how we got along without it.
Here’s another example. “Accountants used to painstakingly fill out tax forms by hand and use long, manual calculations to accurately report information,” writes Michelle Stone in Keeping Your Marbles in the Game. “In today’s world they have software programs that prompt them for information and compute complex calculations for them.”
While I’m a believer that “the newest thing isn’t always the best thing,” I’ve also learned along the way that, as Michelle says, “We need to be digital explorers… willing to demonstrate our commitment to offering the best possible services.”
Legal and ethical issues regarding digital communications are likely to be ongoing, but technology is not going away so it’s much better to embrace change head on, than it is to bury our head in the sand like an ostrich and pretend it’s not there.
Do I always “dive in” on new technological platforms like I probably should? Heck no. But I know I have to always strive to learn new things. Let’s all keep striving to be digital explorers, because there is so much to learn.