Last week at the 2014 CAI Law Seminar , I had the pleasure of teaching with Jeffrey Kaman on the subject of maximizing technology for community associations. We discussed the benefits of technology, as well as the risks, proactive ways of addressing those risks and available protections.  What was most interesting, however, was our discussion on the downsides of technology: Loss of personal touch, becoming too automated and overly dependent, carelessness, etc.

So this morning, as I was still pondering the lessons learned in that and the other classes presented, I came upon this timely blog by social media strategist Jarrid Wilson, which provides us with the following 2014 challenge:

“Divorce your phone, your apps, your social-feeds, and engage in relationship with people that actually matter. Vow to spend significant time off your mobile-devices, unplugged, and instead get back to making personal relationships that will stand the test of time.”

As community association leaders we are always turning to technology for ways to be more efficient, accessible, flexible, and in general make the lives of our clients and business partners (and in turn our lives) easier.  But we must not forget that smart phones, social media, texts and the like, should not replace the true encounters and relationships we create with people.  Technology may make the connection, but it does not foster the people.  The personal relationship is what is real, and what will last.

Melissa M. Garcia
2 responses to “Technology May Connect, But Being Personal Will Last
  1. Thanks for reinforcing the importance of personal relationships. I’ve seen so many solvable HOA problems get out of hand due to an impersonal e-mail or other electronic “solution”. There is no substitute for taking the time and showing the respect to sit down with someone and genuinely LISTEN.

    I personally do a fair amount of public speaking for HOAs and municipalities reaching out to HOAs. It’s an interesting commentary that the subject most requested is “How to talk to your neighbors to solve problems before you call your HOA or the city.” We simply cannot afford to lose the precious art of meaningful conversation.

  2. True that, Melissa! While technology undoubtedly makes our professional lives easier, and saves us time, for some, it has caused them to be more passive-aggressive, dismissive and plain-old rude. I think many are regressing, socially. They think a “friend” is someone with whom you exchange e-mails or whom you have “friended” on social media. They even pride themselves on he huge number of friends they have. Boy, have I got news for them! But for those of us who are “people persons,” electronic communication will never replace good, old-fashioned, face-to-face contact. However, I envision a day when there will be no such thing as a “people person.” Already, we see signs that many are unable to deal directly and appropriately with others. Won’t that be a sad day? I’ll bet this was an interesting seminar, one which I would like to have attended.
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