Is it a threat?

You know what it’s like to encounter something new for the first time. There’s a moment of surprise, perhaps even shock, before the eye starts roving around, exploring. What your subconscious brain is trying to do is place this ‘thing’ in context; can I eat it, should I run away or does it pose no threat? Your conscious brain isn’t aware that this is playing out in the background.

When you’re satisfied there’s no threat you’ll notice that things become a little more inviting; perhaps colours become stronger, smells more noticeable, sounds are interesting, and a path here might take me somewhere different?

All of these reactions take place almost instantaneously; and whether we’re in the physical world or the online world our subconscious mind will operate in the same way.

At the moment, it seems as if the world has been taken over by more tech than you can shake a stick at and our subconscious is being bombarded by a whole load of ‘new’. We’ve had new devices using the Internet of things like intelligent doorbells and fridges, changes to the way we communicate with friends and family, restructuring of society to meet a need for social distance, changes to working environments regardless of where you’re working.

And as someone who works with companies to help them introduce new ways of working I’m interested in two things; the first is how people react to, and engage with, technology in the context of their working life. And the second is what will make most sense to them as a new user. What’s fascinating is that both are always subtly different for everyone although there will be lots of crossover and similarities.

So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to ask what your initial reactions are when you’re presented with something new in your technology, whether that’s at work or at home. I’d love to know what has the biggest impact on YOU, not as part of a team or your company, but the individual you, the unique one whose subconscious brain has already assessed if this ‘thing’ is a threat or a friend.

Image by P. Schreiner from Pixabay

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