Swerdloff Law November 2018

SWERDLOFF In The Know

www.lawwithasmile.com • 310-577-9104

NOVEMBER 2018

STAYING CONNECTED

Appreciating the Benefits of Technology

Recently, I watched a video of my granddaughter and marveled at how technology has changed. In my career, we went from using manual typewriters to computers and word processing software. The old onionskin copies were replaced with automatic copiers. It used to be that you sent a letter by mail and had time to think about things. You could carefully craft a response. Now with email, the expectation is that you’ll reply instantly. Then there was the introduction of the cellphone — well, pagers came first. Remember those? And with smartphones came social media. These major innovations made many functions much easier, leading to changes in people’s roles. Full-time secretaries became full- time assistants, helping to manage email and phone communication. We’ve been adjusting manpower ever since. While it’s given us a lot, technology also allows for many more interruptions. Tools like email can reduce stress, but they also create more intrusions into your day. Even as I was writing this, my cellphone rang! I’ve learned to focus on the task at hand and put some boundaries in place so I can focus. We learn to discipline ourselves not to look at Facebook during the course of the day, maybe saving it for a half-hour in the evening; it’s a good tool for logging birthdays and anniversaries. Instead of jumping to answer the phone at our firm, we’ve switched to setting phone appointments. It’s better for our clients, as we can put our full attention on them instead of being distracted by another caller or task.

With the implementation of the computer in our industry, we’ve been able to offer more to our clients. We can use software that saves formats and processes so we don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel. This technology speeds up the process for our clients when it comes to estate planning and special needs. We can scan documents back and forth instead of having to mail and wait for them. We use a secure cloud base so we can back up files and keep electronic information safely. Plus, it saves our clients a trip to the office, which is especially important for families of those with special needs and for whom leaving the house can be a challenge. We’re starting to do more voice and visual conferencing, too. Like most things in life, technology has its positives and negatives. We could easily focus on the drawbacks, but I’d rather focus on these benefits. I think of my

granddaughter’s smiling face when we do a video chat. She gets all excited and has a big smile on her face. She’ll reach out, trying to grab me through the phone, and then she starts performing, dancing and jumping around, to show off to her grandfather. It’s pure joy. Thanks to this kind of technology, even if I’m not in the same city as my family for the holidays, we can connect over video conferences to laugh and share our days with each other. Although I could leave some of the interruptions that come along with our smart devices, I wouldn’t miss those special video calls for the world. Have a happy Thanksgiving, and stay connected. –Arthur J. Swerdloff

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