When my sister was young – a long, long, long time ago – a teacher told her that by time she was old enough to drive, everyone would have a flying car. She did get a Ford Cobra II, but every time she tried to fly, the California Highway Patrol brought her back to Earth.
I heard the same thing when I was young, but my Chevy Cavalier often never moved, much less flew. And just the other day, a friend’s eight-year-old daughter echoed the generational promise: “When I get older, everyone will have a flying car.”
There’s nothing wrong with dreams – but if your head is always in the clouds it become hard to see the way forward. Put another way, I’m all for the next new thing, whether it’s Google+, Quora, tablet devices, interactive TV or any number of technological advances that are the “flying cars” of the social media age. But none of these tools and products replace the need for intelligent storytelling, critical thinking or core communications skills.
So beware the flying cars of progress. Don’t let the promises of the future betray your responsibilities to the present. Technology can’t help you if you don’t have anything to say.