The glacial pace of change

Today is my Twitter Anniversary – 13 years. I’ve been blogging for coming up 19 years and been on LInkedIn for coming up 17 years.

And yet not so long ago I had someone tell me about this really cool site they had found on the internet – called Linkedin! Recently someone I know, when unable to use a very basic functionality of her phone, replied – “Oh I don’t really do IT”.

Add to this a conversation yesterday about how little of their phones’ functionality most people use and I am reminded yet again of how slowly in some ways we are adapting to this “technology revolution”.

And yet it is happening around us, it is happening to us. Adopting an “I don’t do technology” stance is such a cop out. Even if you don’t feel drawn to fully embracing all of its potential, at least understanding it enough to make informed decisions about its use, both as an individual and in your organisations, is essential if we are going to ensure that we have a say in how society adapts to our inevitably more technological future.

10 thoughts on “The glacial pace of change”

  1. On the other hand, I no longer relate my years online. Contributes to being judged via ageism, among those I network with. They tend to be more interested in my reach, my impact, rather than my longevity. Since I voluntarily, deliberately walked away from the blog, that puts me at a distinct disadvantage. I’ve been working on alternative ways of describing the value of my experience.

    With most focused on the ‘numbers game’, I critique strategies without mentioning how I twigged onto the solution. Everyone on the internet focuses on the importance of stories and storytelling, yet I am finding 30-somethings especially impatient with experiential explanations. “Just the salient details. No justifications, no history, no proofs.”

    Emails longer than a few lines are never read beyond the first sentence. I mean, I find myself doing TL:DR’s at the head of my important emails for subjects that require deep dives into hows and whys to just cover legal ramifications.

    The three second attention span is real. It’s as big a problem as the fact that, with all our tech changing up so fast, WE NEVER READ THE BLOODY MANUALS.

    So much potential. Used just an inch deep. With complaints a mile wide.

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  2. So true, and so frustrating when you see colleagues who almost wilfully refuse to learn new things that would almost certainly help them work more easily.

    With some I wonder if this learned helplessness is the same across everything they do, or whether in fact they are happily doing banking, shopping etc online at home, but either cannot or will not transfer that ability to work. Couple that with an attitude that insists on “a training course” for everything and the paralysis is permanent.

    Outside work I see two great examples at opposite ends of the age spectrum. My mother-in-law, in her 80’s, uses email, reads her newspaper on an iPad, loves the combination of Spotify + Alexa, and happily flips her Netflix viewing between TV and tablet.

    At the other end, one of the many joys of being a grandparent is to see how the children born this decade just take digital devices as part of the world they are learning. Whether it’s a 1 year old who already knows how to answer FaceTime when his parents aren’t looking, to the 4 year old who can find YouTube on any device and happily say she’s busy “watching rubbish”…

    So how do we encourage our peers to learn like small children?

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    1. Aye that’s the challenge. You are spot on. It’s the lack of curiosity that they wear as a badge of honour that does my head in. And you are right, it extends across other aspects of their lives.

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      1. A lateral thought occurs – read Ben Goldacre’s “Bad Science” from a few years ago – he writes about the shortcomings of a media dominated by humanities grads when it comes to reporting science and technology, and the associated defensive strategy of portraying everything as “geeky”, as a way to justify not engaging with it…

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      2. Oh don’t start me on the media’s part in all of this. I have long had the theory that journalists are trying to scare everyone enough about the internet so that it goes away and their jobs are safe!

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  3. And I don’t buy the simplistic arguments about age – see comment above about my mother-in-law; people like you and I are older than many in the workplace; and I love the puzzled looks from the really young colleagues when they pick up that some of us have been blogging since they were in nappies…

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  4. I’ve been saying for years that “I don’t do computers” is the new “I’m bad at maths”. Can’t pick my way through this as being a story people want to uphold because it protects against someone learning what [they think] they don’t know, or laziness, or something else.

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