Campaign India Team
Sep 30, 2013

Social Media Week: ‘A farmer in India has more information than Bill Clinton had 15 years ago’: Toby Daniels

The CEO of Crowdcentric and founder and ED of Social Media Week, spoke on the importance of humanness, and lists five points to take control over technology

Social Media Week: ‘A farmer in India has more information than Bill Clinton had 15 years ago’: Toby Daniels

The possibility of technology ruling humans is not something just science fiction writers have been pondering upon. And it is perhaps more relevant today than ever before.

Speaking at the India Social Media Week in Mumbai on 27 September on 'The Future of Now', Toby Daniels, CEO, Crowdcentric, and founder and executive director, Social Media Week, underlined the importance of 'Humanness prevailing' and presented five steps to make sure technology doesn't rule us in the future.

"People are starting to tune into life through other mediums. Communication has seen a paradigm shift and the way people are communicating now is very different compared to a few years ago. People are searching for real time events and get responses real time too. In the business context, brands are also able to address consumers' complaints instantly and easily," said Daniels, on how social media is changing lives.

‘We don't want technology to rule us’

"With technology playing such an important role right now, we need to address the question, 'What is the future of now?' We don't want technology to rule us," he said.

Following which, Daniels listed the positives and negatives of technology.

"Technology lets us share our passions. Ways to connect and find old friends are provided. It helps one overcome isolation. In a business context, a farmer in India can now access more information through his mobile device than Bill Clinton could 15 years ago during his reign through all the mediums of information," the speaker added.

He then listed out a few negatives, and said, "It's making people anti-social for sure. People are tuning into social networks to speak to people instead of meeting them. People walking on the streets are holding their phones to stay connected over these networks too. It's also changed the definition of who/what is a friend - people add each other on Facebook as friends, even without actually being friends. There's also a theory called FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) in the United States and United Kingdom right now. People can get disillusioned with their own lives as they see Facebook feeds and see only the happy moments of the lives of other people. There are hardly any negatives posts out there."

Design, control, detox, automate, meditate

Daniels ended his session by listing five points to be more productive, and to take control over technology:

(i) Design: “We've put together a book at Crowdcentric to help people be more productive. We urge people to design their day. Through the book, we've suggested that we don't check e-mails, Facebook or Twitter in the first hour after one wakes up. Instead of this, one hour should be given to design one’s day and the plan for the day."

(ii) Control: "We've created an app called Rescue Time, that can be downloaded for free to provide real time data on what one does through an entire day on the PC. It uses all the possible information and gives you an accurate measurement of time spent on social media, e-mails etc."

(iii) Detox: "We don't have to be connected always. On the odd weekend, one can turn the mobile phone off and not be connected to social media. We don't need to be in the present always."

(iv) Automate: "Technology is supposed to make us more efficient - but it hasn't. Instead it has given us more distractions. We've created a software called IFTT (If This Then That) that sends you automated messages to remind yourself to do something. It could be something as easy as a reminder to go off to sleep on time."

(v) Meditate: "We must look for our own space and meditate."

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