The Age-Old Question about Technology

Remember when you were a child? Did your parents ever tell you to turn the music down?

Like most kids I could never understand when my parents told me that the music was too loud or it was just noise. When I grumbled they said that one day, when I grew up, I would understand. Well, I grew up and I still don’t understand.

As a teenager I could never understand when adults said that they were not interested in “new-fangled” technology, and “Oh, I could never learn something new now. I’ll leave it to the young-people.” You know people like that right?

Since these people are perfectly intelligent individuals holding down responsible jobs and have families I can only think that it’s got to do with their personal beliefs. I mean, do they think themselves no longer capable of learning new things?

I was recently at a family lunch and heard the same conversation I seem to hear more and more when getting together with people I went to school with.

It goes something like this:

“Facebook, I’ll never be on Facebook, it’s a waste of time.”

“…I’m not interested in other peoples twits (sic), it’s like stalking.”

“I don’t have time to waste on the internet. I’ve got better things to do.”

Does this sound familiar?

I wonder if it’s because they feel like outsiders and worry about ridicule since groups of internet savvy people can come across as being in closed ‘cliques’ with their own terms, customs, codes, slang and mannerisms?

It’s well known that communicating in a mutually understood and exclusive code allows a feeling of bonding between individuals.

In this context there are 2 types of “cliques” – the clique who wants to try new technologies and trends, and the clique who doesn’t. Both are closed groups and the apparent “cliquiness” may be unintended and perceived as arrogant exclusivity.

Neither is right nor wrong. It’s simply two ways of viewing the world.

Perhaps some people resist new technology only because it’s an unknown. Or perhaps they fear technology because it takes effort to learn how to use it rather than fearing the technology itself. I’m convinced that once their interest is sparked they’ll embrace it, like my parents, who’ve both embraced technology. And they were the ones that told me to turn the music down!

So where does that leave me? I love gadgets and new technology. I’m an early adopter of almost all tech I can think of. If it’s new, I want to try it. I don’t consider myself better than other people who shy away from new technology.It’s just that I don’t ever want to stagnate or to stop learning. One can never learn enough.

It’s useful to remember that what is ‘old technology’ to some was once new technology to the older generation. To the younger generation ‘new technology’ isn’t new, it’s always been there, since they can’t remember a time before that when it didn’t exist.  The older generation may have grown up with, for example, wireless transistor radio. They used it, embraced it, took it for granted even, never even thinking of a time before radio was invented.

Yes, logically they would know that over time inventions have occurred, but our perceptions are perhaps not based on logic and from the moment we are old enough to be aware of ourselves and our surroundings, that is the world we reach for and use.

Perhaps the trick is to just remember to keep on doing that. And keep the music loud and clear. Don’t you agree?

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2 thoughts on “The Age-Old Question about Technology”

  1. Perhaps it may also been that the speed of technology change has increased so much that we are still relatively young when the next generation of technologies comes out. Also, I think that technologies are incorporated into the ‘real world’ quicker today than ever before.

    1. I agree, things are happening faster now. It’s now the information age, so many players in the different technology fields and an expectation from people for the next new thing.

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