An iPad Won’t Make You Better At Twitter (Or Anything Else That Requires Work And Engagement)

Does this sound familiar?

  1. You buy a fancy new piece of computer technology, perhaps an iPad
  2. You hurry home with your new toy and, excited, search for, download and install all your favourite software that you used on your last (once equally-adored, now essentially abandoned) device. (If you bought an iPad, this almost certainly includes TweetDeck. And why not? It looks gorgeous.)
  3. You carry on using that software the exact same way you always did
  4. Repeat

Technology continues to improve all the time, often at a rate that’s hard to comprehend – think about what the average person had access to in the 60s or 70s, or even a decade ago, compared to today (certainly in the West and Asia). It’s mind-blowing.

The thing is, while it’s certainly true that the tools are always developing, many times we, as individuals, are content to stay the same. We don’t adjust with the tech. We maintain the same old habits, often to a level that’s self-destructive. And all the more exposed.

So many bloggers will come bursting out of the gates to upgrade to WordPress 3.0, raving about all the bells and whistles – and then carry on updating their blogs the exact same way they always did.

How many beautifully-crafted Facebook pages with tens, even hundreds of thousands of fans are almost entirely ignored by their creators a few months after the novelty has worn off? How many never do even a single wall post?

Here’s the thing: it’s dangerous (if normal) to assume that new tech means a new you. If nothing has changed except the equipment, then nothing has changed. Sure, the iPad might make using Twitter a more enjoyable experience (certainly on your commute), but it won’t make a lick of difference to the way that you use Twitter – or anything else – unless you make sure that you grow and improve, too.

And if you have to choose, it’s far better that you invest in yourself than new technology. (Cormac McCarthy wrote nearly all of his novels, screenplays and correspondence, from 1960 to the present, on this vintage Olivetti typewriter.)

That is, unless you’re content to be invisible, to not stand out from the pack. As Elbert Hubbard once observed, “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

A 3.0 web, and all the tech, wonder and opportunity that brings, needs a 3.0 you. Anything less is a waste.