In the past, people served machines. Today, machines free people to do what technology can’t: sell, service, and lead. As we explore this global shift from the industrial to the digital age, we cordially invite your voice in Developing the 21st Century Workforce™.
By Todd Beck
I’ve mentioned here before that I'm a pragmatist. So although I create videos for my YouTube channel and practically live in Facebook, I never (repeat never) use Instant Messaging. And I have a webcam (given to me free for participating in some survey) still in its original box in my closet. My wife says she thinks she wants it. Until she pushes hard, though, I'm procrastinating. So maybe I'm not a pragmatist, I'm just lazy.
Either way, for me a technology must meet a need. If it doesn't, I consider it a waste of my effort.
All of this makes me wonder if technology adoption is not a generational thing but just an age thing. In other words, regardless of generation, as we get older, maybe we start to prioritize more. We don’t have (or take) time for new technologies, not because they’re new but because the time required to learn them or use them won’t have the ROI we hope for.
Kids love to pick up new toys which they often quickly abandon for something else. You can blame that on attention span, but I think it’s just that kids have the luxury of being able to spend time on what might turn out to be a dead end. What adult would take six months of golf lessons with absolutely no intent of ever playing after that?
If the pace of technological change continues, then my 4-year-old son will eventually grow into an old man bombarded with new stuff. He’s a “digital native” who may end up just like his father—skeptical about how valuable each Next Big Thing actually is, and thus becoming very choosy.
And if he does, I will be so proud.