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Technology Gets Personal

Understanding the Intersection of Humanity and Technology

Whether at work or at play, our everyday lives have become deeply entwined with technology and digital channels. People spend hours each day using mobile devices, in-vehicle technologies, social media channels, and other gadgets to communicate faster and as part of their efforts to improve the quality of their lives. In fact, the average consumer spends 4.4 hours of his leisure time each day in front of screens, according to Google, and that doesn’t include time spent in front of screens doing work.

This creates enormous opportunities for brands to engage with customers using different digital channels. Yet it also raises a number of questions: Does convenience trump privacy? Are self-service and virtual connections detrimental to our societal advancement? Will machines replace humans? Was Mad Men’s Ginsberg right?

While 78 percent of respondents to a TeleTech survey of 341 U.S. consumers say they’re either “very comfortable” or “somewhat comfortable” with the pace of technology that’s embedded into aspects of their daily lives, nearly one-fifth (18 percent) of respondents believe that technology advances are providing them with less control. These are important issues for business leaders to consider when crafting digital engagement strategies.

“We are in a permanent transition when it comes to technology,” says Don Peppers, founding partner at Peppers & Rogers Group. “And in any transition, change will be accepted at different rates by different people. We need to be aware that not everyone will always be up to speed on how different technologies are used, much less their benefits, risks, and costs.”