This past week at Inman Connect, I was fortunate to be part of some interesting conversations about the impact of smart devices on modern relationships. Plus, Arianna Huffington’s keynote focused on how leadership and success come from slowing down and taking care of our personal capital – ourselves. These experiences made me stop and think, ‘what if in addition to exploring new technology, CRT also started exploring responsible use of technology?’
We at CRT often contemplate our role in educating members about technology. We write, discuss and speak about apps, smart home tech, green tech, trends in home development, hardware, programming and the like. We built REpurposedApps for members to share apps they use on a daily basis. More recently we’ve started to think about the impact these technologies have on our day-to-day lives.
Why Make This a Focus?
Along with the many benefits of ubiquitous technology is the side effect of always being connected – always being on. To that end, our new series Re-ConnectEd will explore what it means to have pockets of silence and methods for disconnecting. The intent of the series is to help you make better choices about how you use technology every day and lessen anxiety and disruption created by these devices. We are going to help you find the “Off” button on your devices. Re-ConnectEd is an abbreviation for ‘Responsible Connectivity Education.’
Real estate is a people business, and what happens when it merges with technology? It’s not always smooth. It can get sticky at times. When meeting with a client, how many smart phone Pavlovian moments have you had? A beep or a buzz pulls us to the screen and away from the person a few feet away. While our phones are keeping us connected to our online networks, they’re often keeping us disconnected from real life encounters – with clients, associates, friends, and family.
What Really Matters
It’s really about us. What matters are the relationships and connections we make. That should be our focus. Carpenters rarely hold a hammer the entire time in the workshop. They hold it only when needed. So it should be with technology and real estate. The tool is there when we need it and as an augmentation to the relationship, not a replacement. It shouldn’t be the sum total of who we are. Rather than having the flashiest gadgets, we should be concerned about how technology could support us as a means to an end.
What is driving the need to be always connected? Is there a need? In some cases, you need to keep an eye on your device; e.g. – awaiting a response to a counter-offer, looking for an e-signature on a contract; but we don’t need them with us 24/7. Think about it. What if you had zones that were considered off limits to devices? Islands of solitude? Do you have these already?
We’d love to hear from members who have been thinking about this topic or have worked to change the relationship with technology. Reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook or email. As we explore this topic, CRT will write about resources and people who are approaching technology differently. Let’s work to disconnect so we can get Re-ConnectEd.