Admit it. You’re not afraid of heights, (you’ve zip-lined with the best of them); spiders (brown recluses are your friends); in confined enclosures, like an elevator, you’ve been known to break out into a smooth soft shoe). But… let someone approach within a cyber-foot of your private space, brandishing a smart phone, a Kindle (on fire or otherwise!) or one of those new-fangled tech gadgets imbedded in eyeglasses or wristwatches, and your palms begin to sweat, you begin to hyper-ventilate, and you become overwhelmed with a sudden nostalgic need to stroke your Corona typewriter.
Face it! You are, among smug, sophisticated tech circles, relegated to the disparaging category of ‘late adapter’ — euphemism for ‘Luddite’. Or ‘technophobe.’ But don’t lose heart. Although you may never earn the coveted title of ‘geek’ or ‘nerd’, there are several really valid, authentic, almost liberating reasons why you might want to begin considering the possibility that, perhaps, an attempt on your part to embrace current and emerging technologies might be a good thing for lots of reasons.
Think about how you have come to take for granted some traditional technologies which, just a generation ago, might have been considered ‘cutting edge.’ Flat screen TV’s, LCD screens, music CD’s, DVD’s, to name a few, were once the ultimate in ‘high-tech digital media.’ Now even you intuitively rely on these somewhat passive devices for your enjoyment, recreation, and cultural enrichment. Amazingly enough, you not only adjusted to these technologies, but now you can’t imagine your leisure life without them.
If you’re willing to emerge from your comfort cocoon, you’ll find that current technology, because it is so much more interactive and engaging, opens doors to heretofore impossible ways to communicate, to create, to collaborate.
Let’s talk about communicating – instantly (right now), universally (everywhere with everyone), anytime (day or night) “Who wants to?” you say. Stop and think – you might want to, or need to – with your grandchild, your son or daughter at college or in the armed forces, your former high school sweetheart, that local politician whose policies frustrate you. Just think — your best friend who lives far away geographically, is as close as one click away, via E-mail, cell phones, Skype, texting – all these modes allow technology to be ubiquitous, bringing those who are important to us closer faster.
What about collaborating with others? Through a technology called virtual reality, the worlds of science, medicine, business, and academics is discovering innovative ways to work together to problem solve, to save lives, to share recipes! And we only have to surf the web for an instant to see how others are creating new work lives for themselves, doing what they love, and loving what they do, while simultaneously earning a respectable living, enhancing their lifestyle, and creating opportunities for others to flourish — economically, physically, and personally.
True, conventional wisdom, as well as the research indicates that a major shift in technology takes place every 18 months, and when it does, its power doubles and its price is cut in half. Don’t lose heart! No one is expecting you to strive to become the next CEO of Amazon, Google, or Facebook. Start small. Just say ‘yes’ to a baby step. In a future article, look for tech toys and techniques which will happily launch you, easily and gently, into the 21st century technology phenomenon. But more importantly, we’ll talk about all the available human and material resources you can access to learn how to use these new tools to enrich your life. Take heart! You, too, can become a ‘techie’ of sorts!