Technology Unchained: Embracing the New Without Risking the Downside

abstract-technologyAccording to legend, in 1779 a British weaver named Ned Ludd destroyed two stocking looms in a fit of rage. Ever since, his name has been synonymous with those suspicious about or fearful of new technology. But Luddites have always been with us. No doubt, scribes in ancient Sumeria sneered when young upstarts started writing on that newfangled paper stuff instead of traditional clay bricks. After all, why change what works?

Ironically, the Internet overflows with stories about how new electronic technologies might doom society as we know it. The commentators fear our electronic helpers will atrophy the writing and social skills of entire generations, and open up company systems to widespread pillaging before going on to destroying entire industries. In a century, human society will no doubt be nearly unrecognizable to those of us living now. But that’s how life works. As long as we continue to think and dream, technology will continue to advance, and the old ways will become casualties to the new.

Dipping Your Toe in the Water

All that said, new technology can have its dangers, especially in the workplace. Improperly implemented, it can slow or stop productivity; and yes, inexperienced users can leave backdoors open for hackers and identity thieves to waltz right in and steal or corrupt data. So you do have to think a little like a Luddite before you dive into the techno-waters. 

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Laura Stack

Laura Stack

Laura Stack is America's premier expert in personal productivity. For over 20 years, her speeches and seminars have helped professionals, leaders, teams, and organizations improve output, execute efficiently, and save time at work. She's the author or coauthor of 10 books, most recently, What to Do When There's Too Much to Do. To invite Laura to speak at your next meeting or register for her free weekly newsletter, visit

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