The following is a speech I wrote about technology. I presented it to some professors from the University of Mississippi, in November 2010. The format is a bit unorthodox to anyone other than me. It is written in my own personal format that allows me to pause and be conversational. It allows me to ad lib and divert from the text if and when necessary.
I will tell the story inside of this story before you read it. The story inside the story: Technology get with it before it leaves you behind, but approach with caution.
Technology…Get with it or Get Lost
Technology changed the make up many things...the way we communicate -Skyping to troops;
...the way we see the world - having the outback of Australia in our living room just by typing, pointing and clicking;
...the way we research - "O, I'll google-it." That's probably one of the most popular verb phrases out;
...and for some people…it changed the way they woo or date someone - the theme music suggests that match.com will help you find an everlasting love, yes it will.
For some people…it has hit them like a thief in the night -- like a whirl wind...because the old ways were comforting …and now with the twist of technology for the first time we saw in the work place that we need more than what's now viewed as the basic professional experience and expertise -- that as we mature in a given industry we tend to gain.
Now college grads come out knowing more about technology rather than the history that gives them an edge.
So Simply…put people some had to get with it or get lost...in order to have the Experience Insight and a Technical Edge
Specifically with reporting there are pros and cons to working with technology in the field.
It's quick - you can email scripts to yourself while you're out in the field and save you some time when it comes to those sometimes…tight deadlines. It's time really to get with it, technology, or get lost.
You can take an editor with you and send your stories back to the station with a few clicks. Now days you better get with it or you better get lost.
For the most part it’s efficient - give or take the occasional product or sometimes user error. But hey “Que sera sera” you really have to get with it or get lost.
It can connect you to a whole new audience. You can entice a generation that you never thought you could reach. Via clips on smart phones, website suitable for you computer or cell phone. Yes you guessed it get with it or get lost.
FaceBook...Twitter all of those social networking sites. Those sites things really give meaning to the sort of synonym for reporter ...personality. On those spaces you can let people in to the reporter image you want them to know. Your Brand! …Social sites like them or not the bottom line get with it or get lost.
Technology is truly a gift, but it can also be a curse...
Back to quick - the faster you become some times the more mistakes you're prone to make. It's not purposely done it's a mistake. It's easy to overlook things when it's quick. You probably don't want to get with that.
Being quick, being first is great BUT accuracy is still more important. Yet and still get with it technology or get lost.
The connection can be a wonderful addition, but sometimes it can be a little too close for comfort. When people start to ask you on dates via FaceBook and Twitter even if you don't respond you still have to be careful. There are a lot of crazies out there. Don't get with that, trust me you want to get lost.
Researching is amazing, but people...young people are finding out how to process meth via the Internet. And reading up on robo tripping and suicide. No one should want to get with that, everyone should want to get lost.
In spite of the cons I still personally believe technology is a magnificent thing inside out in the field and station - some places are using iPads rather than printing scripts heck it makes places greener. So yes, we must get with it or get lost.
One person said to me, three years ago. “I don’t think it will be a big deal it's like the metric system.”
I said, "Every other place in the world uses the metric system but America so...I’m guessing it will be a huge deal."
He had to get with it so he wouldn't get lost.
But like most things when it’s in the wrong hands it can be detrimental. That’s why it is incumbent upon us journalists to keep those core principles of ethics - to seek the truth and report it, to minimize harm, act independently and be accountable. We must use technology and not let it get the best of us. As we get with it and hope not to get lost.