Using the ‘Internet of things’ to your advantage

We all know that social media has grown beyond belief and expectation in many cases. You just have to look at the wealth accumulated in such a short time by many of the originators. However, I often wonder how any work gets done, especially amongst the younger generation because of their fascination with the smart phone. What are young people doing when you see them incessantly fiddling with their phones? They may be playing games, but they’re more likely to be checking emails or reviewing their Twitter feed. This ‘need’ to keep in touch with friends so often beats me. Many have not seen or spoken to each other for weeks but know exactly what the other has been up to.

Imagine telling your grandfather that he was ‘last seen yesterday at 10:58 using his smartphone’, or he was looking at Facebook six hours ago, or he walked 5085 steps today as well as climbing three flights of stairs. I think he would be looking around to see who is spying on him. Maybe he is correct.

On the plus side, mobile devices offer not just communication but ”rich digital experiences on the go”. But always being contactable can make you feel ”always on”.

I confess to having an old fogey’s ambivalence towards mobile phones. There are times when it suits me to keep in touch, but most of the time I don’t want a phone taking over my life – or even interrupting it. And I figure I’m old and odd enough to get away with rarely using one.

On the other hand, with all the amazing things going on in the digital revolution – the spread of computers, the Internet, and the declining cost of telecommunications – nothing is more remarkable than the fact that the platform has made us far more efficient and productive.

Mobile technology can improve the productivity of employees by allowing communication on the go. Time previously underused because of lack of access to a desktop computer is no longer so.

Access is one thing but adding value is another. Using the time connected productively is a discipline. It is all too easy to be diverted to one of the social platforms or check up on how your favourite sports teams are doing. One thread leads to another and before you know it an hour has gone by. We love it because we are now ‘connected’ with all our old school mates and families that are located around the world and are now in touch regularly. Then there is TripAdvisor and other similar websites. Planning and being informed about your next holiday destination has never been easier.

Social media has a broader reach in a quicker amount of time than any other marketing tool in your arsenal. In a matter of minutes, one post can reach hundreds of people. With shares, it’s impossible to calculate how many others are brought into the loop.

The trick is to know how to use all this information that is readily available. For example, I use LinkedIn as a business platform and it looks like many of my work colleagues and peers do. Some of the posts have spurred multiple comments and interesting exchanges related to a range of topics. And of course, using the mediums wisely is vitally important. Once it is up there it does not come down!