Saturday, June 02, 2007

Generational Divides -Technological Differences

In my opinion, the single largest difference between my generation and others is the cultural differences is caused by technology.

Computers and other forms of technology have been around since my early adolescence. I find it difficult to imagine life without the internet and email. The idea of using a typewriter and looking up information in a encyclopedia is laughable. I’d just launch Microsoft Word or search with Google.

I first started using computers in school for educational games. A few years later I received a Packard Bell 486 from my parents for Christmas and discovered American Online (AOL). It became an addiction. At this point, the internet and my computer is a central hub in completing many of my daily responsibilities.

In general, this has been a good thing. Like everything, technology does have its downsides. My dependence is easily revealed in my inability to quickly solve arithmetic problems mentally and my extremely poor spelling. It’s clear that I’m far too dependent on calculators and computer based spell check. In fact, my one and only fear in my previous job was being called upon to be the “scribe” in front of colleagues during a brainstorming session. I would have rather talked 1x1 with the CEO of our company. As the saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it”. At the same job, many colleagues would often ask me for help with something on the computer after 30 minutes or more of futile effort. A few clicks and 2 minutes later I would be done. I’ve listened to many of experienced colleagues talk about the fast pace of change “these days”.

Will I utter those same words 20 years from now?

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