Advancements in technology over the past 30 years have completely revolutionized the way we interact with one another and conduct business. My first post-MBA position as a financial analyst in a Fortune 10 company included: manual spreadsheets, a Friden mechanized calculator and word processing performed by a secretary on an electric typewriter. Cut and paste was truly that: a misspelled word was physically cut out with an Exacto knife with the correction taped back into place.
Now, everyone has a computer, tablet and smartphone with wireless connectivity. The Internet has given us information to assist in making decisions about all aspects of our lives. We can monitor our health by obtaining expert advice from (hopefully) "reliable" sources, develop exercise programs and learn the most advanced opinions on raising healthy children. We are also able to gather information quicker to make more efficient decisions when it comes to travel arrangements, financial and retirement planning, everyday purchases and developing and maintaining professional and social contacts.
In addition to information gathering, we can now interact instantly from anywhere in the world for professional and personal purposes. We have access to many choices for e-mail, Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other means. USA Today recently announced Facebook's value at $75 billion to $100 billion in an IPO with 845 million users and 100 billion friends -- illustrating that social media is here to stay.