Technology has always been something I have been really passionate about- hence, when I became an MPA, I kept MIS as my minor here at McCombs. I look at websites, read blogs, etc. and just love to hear the fascinating stories about how technology is shaping and improving the world we live in. However, something else very crucial to the changing world is communication. I am a strong believer in the importance of honest communication and believe that communicating, itself, also shapes and improves the world we live in.
That being said, I was intrigued when I came across a NYTimes article this morning that contrasts ‘communication’ with ‘connection,’ and discusses the role that technology has in the “sacrificing of communication.”
The article goes on to explain the notion of being “alone together.” In a world where we are attached to our smart phones and computers, we feel constantly connected to all of the people in our lives. Sherry Turkle, the author, goes on to explain how we expect more from technology and less from each other. We feel like, because we could send an email or text message at any time, we are all connected. Of course, this is important in a world that is getting smaller and I am not trying to downplay any of the amazing technologies that help business communication today. I just think it is important to remember that there is a difference in what you get out of a face-to-face conversation vs. one online or via email.
I think my generation has a good balance. We grew up without too much technology-based communication, but got to experience the rise of AOL instant messaging, and Google and Facebook. I take pride in the fact that I still know how to maintain a conversation, because I learned how to communicate with others without technology. I learned how to communicate face-to-face because that was the only way possible. I learned how to communicate without the barrier of protection and anonymity that technology gives you.
Why is this important to MPAs? The same reason it is important to all the majors here at UT- communication is ESSENTIAL in any relationship, regardless if it is personal or business-related. In a public accounting setting, you certainly have to know how to communicate. As you work in teams, you need to be able to properly communicate your ideas and concerns to your teammates and of course, to your client.
I will always be a technology girl but not at the expense of communication. Sure, I love to ‘connect’ with people but I know that communicating gets you far more out of life than merely just connecting. Keep this in mind as you go through every facet of your life. In a job interview, you have to use communication to display who you are and what you stand for, and that’s face-to-face communication, sometimes even non-verbals. In your career, this is just as essential. How you act and how you communicate face-to-face defines who you are, not your Facebook page. Never sacrifice communication for anything.