I’m a gadget guy and have been since I got my first cell phone way back in 1998 (the pager before that, not so much of a big deal – but it was a pretty shade of blue). Now it’s computers, flat-screen TVs, phones, e-cigs, Blu-Ray, and a whole laundry list of other neat new toys that keep my attention. I love these things not necessarily because they are new and shiny, but because they tend to make my life better than whatever they replaced. Although I’m not the youngest person in the room at most meetings now, I’m still well below the average in or office and one of the issues that has come to the forefront this week is just how uncomfortable (read: incompetent or incapable) our “more seasoned” employees are at using even the most basic technology… Our intranet is a great example. I don’t know if I could count on two hands the number of times I’ve heard “it’s too complicated” or “it’s too confusing” or “I can’t find anything”… and I haven’t even been in the meetings.
My current terror-inducing thought is that at some point in my career, I’m going to turn into those people; the ones who can’t seen to find the search function to find something on a website or how to get tethering to work with my cell phone. There’s no way of predicting what the new great technology will be in 20 or 30 years when I’m riding into the sunset of my career, but I know I want to be able to use it effectively. Seriously, how can you actually work without being able to navigate a pretty straightforward website that’s basically being run like a big old external hard drive… We’re not talking about any kind of advanced technology here; other than the laptops it’s running on, everything we’ve got is 10 years old.
If there is any righteousness in the universe, any goodness at all, I’ll be spared that fate. Or I’ll at least be open to learning instead of just complaining after the fact. If I’m not, then I hope some up and coming Young Turk has the courage to put me out to pasture before I become a holdover from a bygone era.