Today’s Tip: Don’t let the technology run you, YOU run the technology.
This tip is a suggetion based on my experiences. I am NOT saying there is a ‘right way’ to do genealogy or a ‘wrong way’. I am only saying …. think about this one.
Everywhere I turn these days there are articles upon articles upon articles telling us how best to engage technology to do genealogy. Each article implores us to use these new efforts for various reasons. Each author drives us to the idea that without this new technology we won’t be ‘complete genealogists’ or something like that. Rarely, if ever, and when I really think about it I’d say never, do they say ‘use technology to achieve YOUR PERSONAL GENEALOGY GOALS’.
Lately I have been having a sense of coming close to having the technology I use RUN me, rather than ME running the technology. This happens often when the pace of technological change increases. New platforms appear — tablets, iPads, the Fire, newer smart phones, new suites of tech products for communicating …. new software …. new gadgets … Wikis by everyone and Wikis for everyone!
At times like these, I force myself to stop and take a look at whether I am running the technology I need or is the technology running me?
I find that, every so often, I need to say ENOUGH — based on my goals! I am happy with what I am using! I do not need a new ‘way’ of doing what I am doing! I do not need a new way of communicating with folks! I do not have to have another platform when my current one is operating just fine! While there maybe dozens of family tree software offerings, if the one I am using is still meeting my needs, perhaps I don’t need to change! If my smart phone fits in my had just fine, and does what I need it to do, maybe I don’t need something that is five times the size. The BIG question should be: Am I using technology to achieve my genealogy goals?
If I let the technology run me, I would be spending too much time worrying about the technology and not my genealogy goals. I would care about how may re-tweets I get on Twitter, what rank my blog is, whether I should now double up and produce everything on Facebook and Google plus, or if I need to toss my smart phone and laptop in the garbage and get an iPad and put every bit of my life in ‘the cloud’! Heck, there are one ton of folks out there almost demanding that every family tree become public, no matter what the desires of the researcher or the family that created and uses it. I continue to try and spend my time on genealogy, not constantly learning new technology for the sake of seeming ‘cutting edge’.
So, I frequently take stock in what I am doing, what I am trying to accomplish and what my genealogy goals are. Then I make sure I am running the technology I want to, achieving my goals, and that I am not having the technology run me.
I won’t ever be the biggest dog in the genealgoy yard. I won’t ever worry about how many times Onward To Our Past gets re-tweeted (personally I find a lot of Twitter is ego-driven junk anyway, but that again is just me being me), and my blog seems to be doing just fine for me and those who read it, even if Google hardly every can find me for its’ genealogy search pages!
Plus …. since I personally use and love Facebook …. I don’t see a reason to have to abandon it or double up on Google+.
So, I am happy I am running the technology I am using for now — because my genealogy goals are being met just fine for me, my family, and my readers —
Take a moment every once in awhile and make sure you are running your technology and not vice versa.
Onward To Our Past,