At No Point in the Relatively Recent History of the Internet Have We had to Tax Our Communication System the Way We Have in 2020
Hi, I’m Jamie. I’m the co-founder and CEO of Integration Controls, a home automation company that provides entertainment, ambiance, comfort, and peace of mind. Since 2004 we have worked with homeowners to integrate technology into their homes so that it is simple, intuitive, and reliable – even though we know, sometimes it’s not. When tech gremlins surface, we are there. Our service has been impeccable – award-winning, in fact.
These days, more than ever, I understand how difficult it is to stay connected physically, socially, and through the internet. At no point in the relatively recent history of the internet have we had to tax our communication system the way we have in 2020. Working from home, schooling from home, and enjoying a Netflix and chill have never been needed more. No one planned for this. No one wanted this.
Even with some of the best systems that my company and others like us put into place, we never expected a worldwide pandemic where everyone would be using the internet to its fullest capacity.
Our service calls spiked in the morning because of poor Wi-Fi and bad upload speeds. They also picked up in the evening as people attempted to bring a little entertainment into their life. As such, we are getting new clients requesting better networks and technology that “just works.” Go figure!
The design/build community is feeling the impact, as well. As you look at your surroundings and plan for your future, what are you thinking of changing? For me, it’s wider hallways, more natural light, and taller ceilings. Thankfully, my Wi-Fi is rock solid.
Lifestyle changes are happening all around us, as well. People are walking around the neighborhood, having groceries delivered, and learning how to cook at home. If you haven’t found the YouTube channel, “Nat’s What I Reckon,” I highly encourage you watch a few. Warning: parental advisory for explicit (and f*@#ing hilarious) content. Aside from binging on Nat’s YouTube channel, we recently bought a Peloton so I could lose my Covid “19,” but unfortunately, it hasn’t shown up yet. I guess the exercise industry is experiencing the perks of Covid, as well. I suppose I will use my 90 days of free service, which I recently signed up for, thanks to a voice command reminder.
The realization of a new normal is dawning. My project manager called it our “now normal.” Fitting, given that Covid has not gone away and is spiking in some areas across the nation.
I’m not exactly sure what our now normal will include. Since I first started this article, a national movement changed the course of my content. George Floyd, a black man, was murdered on May 25, 2020, by white police officers during an arrest, for allegedly using a counterfeit bill – and it was filmed. This video footage spurred protests, riots, and a renewed conversation over racial inequity and systemic racism across the world, all without a vaccine for Covid or racism.
The conversation has turned political instead of humanitarian. While my business is in home automation, my heart is with humans. It’s with those sick because of the virus and those sick of hearing about it because they are losing their business – their livelihood. It’s with those who are disgusted and outraged by police violence and racial inequity, and it’s with those families of police officers who risk their lives every day. It’s with my white friends, some of whom are finally realizing what “white privilege” means, and for those who think it doesn’t exist. It’s with my black and brown friends, some of whom have experienced very little racism, and for those who have felt it in every hurtful way imaginable for most of their lives.
Having grown up in a small, white town, I know I have had biases that needed re-educating. My default thoughts or reactions still need work, and I’m actively working to correct them.
My community and yours needs to be open-minded. To be understanding. To be compassionate. To realize our own bias and check ourselves on it – to be a critical thinker and question everything. And when we hear or read a viewpoint that is contrary to ours, instead of arguing or defending, we need to lean in. Ask questions. Put energy into developing ourselves beyond the confines of our mind and personal experience and take a walk in someone else’s shoes.
Our personal experience is not reality; it’s only our reality. If we continue to fight, argue, object, ignore, and defend, we will miss the opportunity to change the world for ourselves and our children’s children.
I live by the credo to “be the change that you wish to see in the world” (Mahatma Gandhi) and I urge you to do the same. Whether it’s something as small as learning how to properly make Bolognese, or as monumental as fighting for racial inequity, the world needs us to show up. We need to improve how we communicate, how we treat one another, and how we do business.
In our world of technology, it’s time we think past how we connect wires to inputs and devices to the network. Yes, this is what we are hired to do… technically. Yet the root of what we are hired to do is to connect people with their technology so they can work, see loved ones, and be informed.
Or, every now and then, binge watch a hilarious show, hosted by a foul-mouthed, introspective, comedian who is inspiring those at home to make their own “End of Days Bolognese” and “$&ck jar sauce.”
Nat’s What I Reckon: https://youtu.be/Sw_Ze9zIafM “End of Days Bolognese”
Guide To Allyship: https://guidetoallyship.com/