Modern technology is amazing and exciting and improves our lives in countless ways but it can also become a negative when we allow it to suppress our human side.

What can we do to break down the barriers technology creates and how can we connect more effectively with our staff, faculty, parents and students? We can explore the ways together to find that personal touch that is so often missing in our business relationships and that can create goodwill and happiness around us both on a business and personal level.

Here are some examples:

1) Lack of focus when interacting with others

2) Texting not talking

3) Lack of social graces

4) Insecurity when in social situations

5) Cowardice behind the posts

1) How often do you talk to your students or your staff and feel that they are just not really listening to what you are saying? Do you feel that they are only half with you so to speak, do they look at you with semi focused eyes?

People are so used to an overload of information that they are often conditioned not to give you their full attention. They are always half thinking of what they are missing on their phones or I Pads and are almost unable to fully concentrate on any one thing. You can help with this problem by removing them from this type of distraction and by giving them something calm and relaxed to focus their attention on. Once they are in a relaxed state it will be much easier to get through to them.

2) Texting is a way of life and while very helpful in some situations it is certainly helping to develop a generation of young people who never converse with others. They find it so much easier to text that is why dance is so helpful to them because it encourages them to at least have some form of face to face communication. Encourage those around you to converse with one another and keep those lines of communication open. This will help you to avoid problems with parents, faculty, staff, students and business associates.

3) Social graces are developed by communicating with others. A simple "Hello" or "Thank You" help to start conversation and many students today forget those simple niceties. You can help by incorporating these small moments of social behavior into your daily classes.

4) Do you have any students who are really insecure when around their peers? I think most of us, if not all deal with this because our students are going through those awkward stages of development. Building a sense of belonging to a community and being an integral part of a team is a good way to build confidence in children and adults alike.

5) It is so easy to hide behind your computer or phone when communicating with others. Bullying is alive and flourishing as people find it convenient to say whatever crosses their mind without giving a thought to the negative reaction it might have on the other person. It is so much more difficult to be unpleasant when you have to look the person in the eye. Encourage face to face conversations and meetings to get everything out on the table and where a possibility of a resolution exists

Pet Peeves with the way the digital world can affect us on a day to day basis.

Write down 5 things that truly irritate you when dealing with people where technology is involved.

Make a list of 5 ways that you would like other people to treat you.

Find the qualities that we enjoy in others.