We live in a highly connected world linked together by status updates, texts, emails, tweets, and countless other messages. As communication professionals, we are expected to process this information every day, to navigate these connections as easily as a pro surfer rides a monster wave. But how much information can we “surf” before becoming overwhelmed? How do we as communicators manage the compulsion to connect but still carve out space to stay focused and productive?
Our closing keynote speaker Tiffany Shlain is tackling these very questions. A groundbreaking filmmaker, artist, and founder of the Webby Awards (as well as a Berkeley alum!), Tiffany explores what it means to be connected and how to navigate our changing world, from technology shabbats to tech etiquette. Her recent film Connected: An Autobiography about Love, Death & Technology is a timely look at the ways we are all connected that is both personal and universal.
Like many of us, I’m not immune to the allure of connectivity, the excitement of receiving that online notification, text message, or user comment. However, during my childhood my family and I were far from the technology forefront. We had a black and white television and rotary phone for most of the 1980’s. We didn’t get a VCR, microwave oven, or answering machine until 1992 (a banner year for us). My mother uses a manual typewriter to this day to write letters.