The Dignified Self follows the mission to cultivate mindfulness in the technology age. The initiative targets individuals …
Is this not a complete contradiction? What do you actually want to achieve? Will this not damage your credibility as ‘Mobile Enthusiast’?
I heard so many questions why I am committed to THE DIGNIFIED SELF. And there are just as many reasons for this. But first let me introduce myself.
My name is Heike Scholz, I do not belong to the GenY, I’m not a Millennial, not a digital native. I grew up with telephone booths, lots of printed paper and TVs without a remote control. Okay, it was not all bad.
Even as a teenager, when my older brother already incessantly typed on his C64, I refused this stuff. Regarded it as soulless, boring and pretty goofy. Yes, my puberty had its dark moments too.
Times of Change
In the early 90s, we had home-PCs to go on the internet. I still can hear this ‘Tüdelüdelütt’ of the analog modem connecting to the net. Then came ISDN and channel bundling. Boom! Suddenly we were twice as fast, which was still in comparison to today’s speed a kind of super-slo-mo. But you had to tell people that you are surfing the net “You cannot reach me by phone now. I’m on the internet! “As if anybody would have wanted to know at this moment. No matter. It was a welcome opportunity to show yourself to be particularly innovative. We had no Facebook, no selfies and this kind of stuff.
While I was studying, the first mobile phone came to me: A Siemens S4. It made big bumps in the pockets and it looked pretty important when you had to pull out the antenna before use.
And suddenly we were able to reach each other. Well, those who already had a cell phone or just were at home near the landline phone. You could let others know that you will be late, without looking for change and a phone booth. Okay. We were socialized in a way that we would make an appointment and went there unless we were nearing our own demise. But it was a great feeling of independence with such a mobile phone.
Now I will skip a few years (and phone models) I worked as a strategy consultant for different corporations. “Mobile Business” still meant several kilos and very very high costs. And although it was hip to walk around with a communicator or Blackberry checking emails during the New Economy, the mobile internet had not reached mass market.
In 2005 I had a project with QR codes and thought to myself: “Now it is the time for something more on mobile phones”. As a consultant I wanted to have a dynamic website anyway, so I started blogging about mobile marketing in 2006. That was way before the iPhone and yes, we already had powerful equipment, we were able to install apps. I must admit it was always a little tremor whether the device would still operate and it wasn’t easy, but it worked.
And then in 2007, the iPhone was launched. Almost all freaked out, only Nokia felt safe, with more than 80 percent market share in Germany. Well, what happened next, I don’t need to tell. Nokia smartphones disappeared, Google’s Android has now more than 80 percent market share and Apple earns a fortune within its premium niche.
My blog has grown thanks to various writers supporting me. And I always liked helping new publishers to gain a foothold in the mobile industry. But still I thought the markets were progressing much too slowly. This changed finally 2013. More and more people and companies became aware that we would experience a so far-reaching change throughout mobile devices and through developing new and disruptive (ie destructive) services that no one could ignore it any more.
For almost ten years I have been preaching that mobile will change our lives and inspired so many people for these new technologies. Today mobile really has arrived in the mass market and thus in all of our lives. Many of us run joyfully to it and embrace the new and exciting possibilities.
Assets and Back Draws
Slowly but surely we changed our behavior. I can hardly find my way (if I did not go there for at least ten times) without a navigation system. I do not know any of my friends’ phone numbers any more (which I think is not too bad). Yes, I belong to the people who use their smartphone more than 200 times a day. Does this bothers me? No. Do I believe that I have to change that? No. I cannot see a reason for it. Am I smartphone addict? Yes and no. Yes, when it comes to my intense use. This could be described as addictive, but it is not by definition. For that I would have to show physical or mental deformations and I do not (others confirmed that). I’m probably largely immune to addiction symptoms, because whenever I have anything better to do, meet family or friends, go out in my home town Hamburg on the Reeperbahn, drive my motorcycle or looking at the sunset on the beach … my smartphone remains in my pocket or is not even with me.
For me I’ve learned how to deal with digital technology. I’m fine with it. But I also know that many people suffer from the impact of digital technology, have fears or don’t let things get close to them because they consider it harmful.
That’s exactly why I’m at THE DIGNIFIED SELF and I very quickly and joyfully joined and supported Lilian, when she asked me. I want us to respond positively to new technologies, they can zoom up to us to really get an idea from them. If that is done, we can assess better how far we want to let them into our lives, our society, our work environments. For this we need to know what we are talking about, have tried things and have to know their chances and opportunities.
No luddite and no flying the sky. Looking at the things unexcitedly, finding good (and this is very individually) ways to deal with them, being kind to ourselves and getting everything good and useful to us and pushing back the bad and harmful. To find the center and thus precisely to find a DIGNIFIED way with yourself, other people and technology. This is my vision, my wish. For this reason I want to contribute to THE DIGNIFIED SELF.
And I am firmly convinced that my other activities such as blogging on mobile zeitgeist, my activities for the stationary retail business and my work as a lecture speaker can only benefit from my commitment to THE DIGNIFIED SELF. With all the excitement for the digital transformation we must not forget that humans, and not technology, are the focus.