FGG Financial Grownup Guide: 5 ways to make technology more human with special guest co-host Back to Human author Dan Schawbel.

FGG Instagram - Make Tech More Human WHITE BORDER.png

Technology can’t really be unplugged, so the best solution is the make it work for us as Humans. Back to Human author Dan Schawbel joins Bobbi Rebell as co-host on this special Financial Grownup Guide. They discuss 5 specific actionable tips to using technology to enhance and humanize the role of our devices in our daily lives. 

  • Specific ways to eliminate tech driven distractions

  • How to manage devices and stay focused in meetings

  • How to use apps to learn and then control your time online.

  • How to most effectively use video conferencing

  • The best ways to delegate unwanted tasks to technology so you can focus on being more human


Episode Links:

Dan's book Back to Human

Dan's book Promote Yourself and Me 2.0

Dan’s podcast 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel


Transcription

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup Guide, five ways to make technology more human, with special guest cohost, Back to Human author, Dan Schawbel.

Bobbi Rebell:
You're listening to Financial Grownup with me, certified financial planner, Bobbi Rebell, author of How to Be a Financial Grownup. And you know what? Being a grownup is really hard, especially when it comes to money. But it's okay, we're going to get there together. I'm gonna bring you one money story from a financial grownup, one lesson, and then my take on how you can make it your own. We got this.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hi everyone, welcome to a new Financial Grownup Guide. These are short episodes meant to give us all some actionable life tips to be a little bit more grownup. If you are looking for what we now call classic episodes with money stories and everyday money tips from high achievers, they drop on Mondays and Thursdays. We have a library of over 100 and growing. So do check them out.

Bobbi Rebell:
Let's talk about technology. So many of us are feeling tech overload these days. At first, I had the idea to do a list of tips for unplugging. But you know what? I'm not sure if that's the best thing, or ever realistic. What we really need to do is just make technology work for us. So I recruited Dan Schawbel, he literally wrote a book about this called Back to Human, to get some tips about how we can get our technology to help us be a little more human.

Bobbi Rebell:
Hey Dan Schawbel, thanks for co-hosting this special episode with me.

Dan Schawbel:
So happy to be here with you.

Bobbi Rebell:
This is the thing Dan, we need to learn to make tech more human in the new year because we cannot get rid of technology. We're over that whole concept. But yet we have to make it work for us as humans because of course you are the author of Back to Human. So you're here to guide us. So thanks for joining me.

Dan Schawbel:
Happy to be here as your cohost.

Bobbi Rebell:
Tell us more about why this topic is so important to you, you basically wrote ... that's a lot of what the book Back to Human is.

Dan Schawbel:
Yeah. Technology has created the illusion of connection when in reality, our overuse and misuse of it has created a sense of isolation, loneliness, disengagement and lower team and organizational commitment. The way the workplace has changed now versus years ago is more people working remote, a third of the global workforce does. Yet 2/3 are disengaged. And you can be isolated in a physical space whether it's a corporate office. You can be isolated in the subway in New York City, where we both live, you can be isolated while you're walking down the street because people are looking and spending more time on devices than they are looking at a human being. And so I think this is important because as an introvert, as someone whose built a lot of connections digitally, I realize that it was very isolating and that the best way to use technology is to use it as a bridge to human connection. Let it get you to physical spaces, but be attentive, be respectful, and focus on the human to human communication because those relationships are what are gonna matter for you for the rest of your life.

Bobbi Rebell:
But also, I love that you're also realistic, that we can't completely unplug. It is what it is.

Dan Schawbel:
It is what it is. I think it's how, when, and where you use it. I interviewed 100 top young leaders and they say technology is a double-edged sword. It can be good or bad. And I think texting's someone that there's a meeting in five minutes or 10 minutes is appropriate but if you're in an argument with your coworker that's not gonna be solved through text and it's actually gonna make it worse.

Bobbi Rebell:
Alright. So Dan you brought with you five ways that we can make tech more human. Number one, eliminate distractions in your workplace, technology distractions.

Dan Schawbel:
Yeah. By watching TV, by having your iPad out, by looking at a laptop, if you're always doing that all day you're gonna feel trapped, you're gonna feel isolated from those around you. So be smart about what's in front of you and make sure that you take breaks because otherwise if you don't have a tech detox it's gonna be bad for your health and relationships.

Bobbi Rebell:
And I love that you pointed out take breaks because so many workspaces now have screens all around us, whether it's television, with programming and content going on, or screens that just have corporate messaging. We screens everywhere. Not to mention our own devices, our phone, our iPad, our computer. So you make a great point that we need to walk away a little.

Dan Schawbel:
Everyone needs a break. Especially in today's society, everyone's always on. Not having your phone is the new vacation, the average work week in America is 47 hours a week but people bring their devices home with them and on weekends. So we're just overworked, we're burned out and that's why there's a whole backlash now globally on hours work. Finland, UK they're fighting for four day work week. In France they have the right to disconnect. In Japan, every citizen gets Monday mornings off. So we're-

Bobbi Rebell:
Really?

Dan Schawbel:
The technology's made us always work and now all these countries are saying, hey we need to do something about this. This is bad for the population's health.

Bobbi Rebell:
And your second tip actually goes to that point because not only are the devices encroaching on our personal time, they're encroaching on our meeting time because you'll be in a meeting and people are sometimes sitting there kind of looking at you but also on their screens. Which is like why bother even having this meeting? So what's your second tip?

Dan Schawbel:
Put your devices in the middle of the table when you're in a meeting. People send an average of five texts within a meeting. And so they're not being respectful for the people who are speaking, they're unable to collaborate, and I think it's part of the reason why meetings are dysfunctional and they last too long because people are physically there but not mentally, emotionally there. And so they're unable to contribute, collaborate, and it's not only disrespectful but what's the point in even being in the meeting in the first place if you're texting and emailing people who aren't even at that meeting?

Bobbi Rebell:
Dan, number three, so apropo, because there's so many apps on our phones that are distracting us but we actually have some apps that can do some good.

Dan Schawbel:
Yeah. The best way to take stock of how you're spending your time using technology is to use Moment app or rescuetime.com and they'll help you better understand how you're spending your time on apps and websites. And if you see that you're spending too much time on a certain app or a website, it's an indicator that you might wanna reallocate that time to more personal communication.

Bobbi Rebell:
And one way to be a little more personal in your communication, but also use technology, and this is number four, you wanna talk to us about video conferencing, because you can get a lot more from that. It's not the same as in person but it's a step in the right direction, right?

Dan Schawbel:
That's one of the great inventions of the past few decades is video conferencing because most communication is nonverbal and video conferencing allows you to not just hear someone but actually see them and how they express their emotions. And as a result you feel like you have a stronger relationship with them and you can better understand the message they're trying to get across.

Bobbi Rebell:
I think my favorite of your five tips is this one, the final one, which has to to do with using technology for the things that you can really outsource and technology is better at.

Dan Schawbel:
Let technology remove the work that you don't even wanna do. All that routine work, like making sure that you and your coworker or friend are going to the same event or birthday party, conference room at the same time so that you can be more thoughtful about the time you're spending with them when you're at that event, when you're in the conference room or celebrating someone's birthday party. And so I think that calendars and chat box and some of these newer technologies can remove the logistical work from what you have to do on a daily basis so you can spend more time doing the face to face.

Bobbi Rebell:
All good tips. Thank you so much Dan. And the final tip, of course, is to read your book, Back to Human because it has so many more incredibly ways to optimize the way that you interact with technology so it's actually supporting your life goals and making your life better and not having all of these negative effects that so many of us are fighting back against. So thank you Dan.

Dan Schawbel:
Thank you.

Bobbi Rebell:
Thanks everyone for joining us. Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss anymore upcoming Financial Grownup Guides. I am very excited about some of the ones that we have planned and be in touch on Instagram at BobbiRebell1 on twitter at BobbiRebell, and of course you can always email us, we are at hello@financialgrownup.com so glad you joined us in investing in getting a little bit closer to being financial grownups.

Bobbi Rebell:
Financial Grownup with Bobbi Rebell is edited and produced by Steve Stuart and is a BRK Media production.