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I've noticed that lately, I'm using Siri on my iPhone more and more.
It's like I'm outsourcing my brain.
"Hey Siri, remind me to call so and so when I arrive at work."
"Hey Siri, remind me to go to the bank when I leave work."
"Hey Siri, what's the weather forecast?"
"Hey, Siri, where is the closest Starbucks?"
"Hey, Siri, where am I... What should I wear... What's going on?"
This is bad on many, many levels.
Aside from all the talk of "the singularity"... Where Artificial Intelligence exceeds human control... This technology trend is destroying the value placed on actual thinking.
Have you noticed how few people actually think any more?
These are actual conversations I've had over the last seven days...
Me: "If you're going to trade stock options, here are the best books I'd recommend on the subject. It may take you a few months but you'll have a solid foundation before you begin."
Response: "Don't worry I'll just Google it, I'm starting on Monday."
Me: "If you want to generate leads for your properties it may be a good idea to put out some posters door-to-door in the neighbourhood and a sign in the lawn."
Response: "Nah, I'll just post it on Kijiji."
Me: "To create traffic for your new website you'll want to write some blog posts or some longer articles."
Response: "I'll just start a Facebook page, it's way easier."
Me: "You should collect and study several research papers and then summarize them with footnotes."
Response: "I'll just get Microsoft Word to summarize them for me."
We've always known that, in general, people want to hand over control of stuff to other people but it's happening at such a rapid pace now that actual analysis and thought is vanishing in front of our eyes.
For example, do you know that something like 20% of the Internet is searchable by a resource like Google? The rest is the dark web that Google isn't even delivering to you.
When you search Google, you're not even getting access to all of the information that may be of value to you. Certainly not all the gold in places like University libraries and so on.
Many real estate investors get confused when we ask them to put lawn signs in front of their properties. Seriously. They believe Kijiji should find the tenant, walk them into the house and sign the lease for them.
One time we had an investor who was not able to find a tenant for his property for weeks.
We asked them if they had a sign on the lawn, they didn't... Just Kijiji ads.
After several more weeks of pain and suffering, they finally put up a sign and that very same weekend found tenants.
Here's the kicker...
These tenants proceeded to explain that they had been driving around the area, and this exact street, for weeks looking for a property.
Apparently, not everyone is on Kijiji.
Some of the very best new clients from our business come from... Wait for it... Wait for it... Local old-fashioned newspapers! I can hear the gasps.
And in fact, Facebook, from our tests has delivered us some of the very poorest converting new leads into Rock Star.
Sometimes easy doesn't equal good.
But the trends to quick and easy continue.
Pretty soon people won't even know how to get home... Their Apple watch will just zap them every time they need to make a turn.
In our eyes, this is not progress.
This is a scary development.
And we're not immune to it ourselves.
Far from it.
I've personally noticed that with more and more time on all this Internet stuff, and reading more and more articles off of my own iPhone, has had a negative impact on my attention span.
When I read my beloved old-school paper-based books, I find I'm working a little harder to stay focused.
It's a problem... We're conscious of it... And we're fighting it.
It's not easy.
We're all pressured to have our phone on at almost all times, to be checking email at almost all times, to respond to text messages instantly, to be on-on-on.
Some of our own best progress in life has come from taking time alone, with no email, and no phone... Just planning.
Mapping out strategies, thinking of ways to build our streams of income, designing a life that we want to live... And then implementing with blinders on.
Ignoring the latest shiny object.
From this point forward, the difference between the "haves" and the "have-nots" may have less to do with technology and more to do with how much independent research, thought and planning without technology that you can achieve.
Slowing right down and mapping out a long-term plan for yourself, your finances and your life can pay huge dividends.
Doing your own independent research and analysis.
These may be the killer skills of the next 25 and 50 years.
If we reflect back on our own lives, some of the best progress has not come from Google and definitely not from Facebook.
It's come from reading, studying and very carefully observing other people who we considered successful.
Who were living lives that we wanted to live.
And then deconstructing what they did and how they did it.
This took time, it took money, and in fact, some of this process lasted for years.
Some of this is still ongoing!
We find ourselves sometimes forgetting this and getting pulled into the vortex of "quick fixes" and "Google searches."
How about this...
"Hey Siri, go to #$#%"
Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms!