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Get on the Offensive With Technology

Resist the state of perpetual panic about never keeping up

November 16, 2021

If you feel like you can never keep up with your work, you’re not alone. The world is currently in a state of perpetual panic, spurred by rapid advances in technology that keeps people connected around the clock, according to Crystal Washington, featured speaker at the Lunch & Learn Spotlight: The Future is Now—What Cleaning Industry Leaders Need to Know! at ISSA Show North America 2021.

“We will probably never be caught up again,” said Washington, explaining that there have never been so many changes in technology at any other time in American history. “Your brain is overreacting to the stimulus of so much change and we are not biologically set up for this. We’re all constantly trying to adapt.”

This burgeoning technology has led to three new changes in the human race, including digital amnesia. Washington said before everyone had their own mobile phone, people relied on their internal brains and tended to have 10-20 phone numbers memorized. Now that people have all their numbers on their personal devices, most people maybe have two or three numbers memorized. “We have less need for memorization now that we have external brains,” she explained.

The second change is more people are exhibiting compulsive behaviors. For instance, lawmakers in Honolulu had to make a law prohibiting looking at mobile devices while crossing the street because so many distracted people were being hit by cars. A man hiking in California came within a few feet of a wild bear because he was so distracted by his device.

The third change is we are becoming cyborgs who are mated to their devices. “Humans are not becoming machines, they are becoming attached to machines that give them superpowers,” Washington said.

She stressed that technology is not replacing people. Instead, people are using technology to be more informed, such as interacting with a company’s social media and visiting its websites. Washington said companies need to take care of these “external” customers as well as their internal customers to stay alive. “Work is harder now because we need to offer customers different options,” she said.

Some technical solutions that can make work easier include business management software, autonomous cleaning robots, and cleaning drones.

However, technology is not replacing face-to-face contact or phone calls. “Don’t outsource your relationships to technology,” Washington said.

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