noun: Luddite; plural noun: Luddites. A member of any of the bands of English workers who destroyed machinery, especially in cotton and woolen mills, that they believed was threatening their jobs • A person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology. Perhaps named after Ned Lud, a participant in the destruction of machinery
What you see above is the dictionary definition of a Luddite. I have, more or less, always called myself one. But my self-definition translates more along the lines of preferring to live and work with as little technology as possible.
When I started as a writer, I did not even own a typewriter. That came a little later. Actually several of them, then a word processor, then a personal computer, then an Apple computer, then a whole series of them right up to the MacBook Pro I am writing this piece on and the 24” iMac that is just over my shoulder and kinda gathering dust.
I also have an iPad, which I use for reading articles and checking the weather and a smart phone with no SIM card, (both of which were hand-me-downs from my wife), that I use as a camera. My real phone is a dandy little Alcatel flip phone which suits me just fine.
I have never been philosophically opposed to technology in and of itself. And I have certainly availed myself of as much as I felt necessary.
Up-To Speed With vs Overwhelmed By Tech
Being a communications professional, I have also made it a point to keep up to speed with technology, and I find that process quite enjoyable, although I do not immerse myself in it to the extent that a number of people I know have done.
So I am really a relative Luddite. I have all the tech I need to do my job and pursue my writing, but no more than that.
There is a very good reason I have chosen this path and that is simply that most of what I need to know about communication I pretty much already know. It’s not my job to show people how to build an SEO program, or how to create an online retail site or create a successful blog site for themselves.
My job is just to know enough about how all this technology works, and what it can theoretically do, to advise people on the best courses of action for their businesses. And then help them get there with good ideas.
If I have to I have at least a dozen people who know all the ins and outs of these various vertical platforms who can advise my client or build them whatever they need to make their businesses go.
So in a way, you could say that my pursuit of Luddite-ness, gives me a kind of objectivity that is very helpful in terms of the advice I give my clients.
And that very objectivity is the thing that businesses need, especially in this day and age when there are literally thousands of digital marketers out there proclaiming that their tech is the answer to the prayers of a client they know virtually nothing about, except the industry they are in.
It Just Does Not Work Like That
Solving communication challenges, creating strong brands powered by unique selling propositions and all that other good stuff is not, I repeat not, something that should be left in the hands of someone whose vested interest is in a specific vertical silo, be that digital or analog.
It should be left in the hands of the company decision makers and the people they bring on board to strategically connect their business with their prospects.
Because without that critically important step in the process, everybody is simply taking a wild-ass guess. And more often than not just throwing money down the drain.
Being A Luddite Means Projecting A Simple Viewpoint
Being unencumbered by technology preferences is not only exhilarating, it’s an absolute necessity for anyone in the communications business.
Because keeping the focus on the business-to-customer relationship always, always, always has to be the first step that every business needs to take in order to ensure any sort of long-term success in the market.
After that has been established, tested and proven, then the choices come into play. Sometimes they are ornate and cutting-edge digital processes. Other times they are something much simpler and more direct.
The Luddite looks at all of this stuff objectively. And that objective point of view is really the element that can be traced directly to smart choices and successful outcomes.