Since the 1990s essentially, generations have transitioned an PC and mobile world. In that time, your generations have arrived on the scene and taken the lead in implementing technology throughout their lives.
The technology natives — those in their teens-40s — among you will text, tweet, snapchat and post before the office veterans arrive and make their first phone call. It’s not that texting or tweeting are more valuable. Simply an observation that some of us openly learn and use the computer and mobile technologies that seem to arrive by the minute. Other generations — often the older, wiser people among us — shun technology.
Tech natives grew up using computers and Yahoo, Google to find solutions — not chalkboards, encyclopedias and old-world references. My parents must have cried when their leather, hard back, 26-volume Encyclopedia Brittanica was completely ignored by three ravenous children anxious to learn. And that happened in the 1970s as Pong, Commodore and the first consumer calculators became popular.
The non-technies — aka several of those older than 55, perhaps — prefer to mail a letter via the post office instead of sending a text or conducting a video conference on a smartphone, a tablet or laptop. A man some 30 years my elder retired early rather than embrace the introduction of PCs in his office. He was satisfied with his secretary’s electric typewriter and the marvels of the fax machine.
In the early 1970s, my dad spent more than $100 for the first calculator we had ever seen. It had 1 line of digits. The numbers 2 and 5 looked oddly similar, and you could add, subtract, multiply or divide — maybe more. I was pretty young at the time.
So today most everyone has a cell phone — and probably a smartphone with a free calculator, calendar, alarm clock and hundreds of other functions. And a smartphone costs about the same as… you guessed it, a 1970s calculator.
So why do people call information from their desk or smartphone to get another phone number? It’s a wasted charge of several dollars when they could have obtained the same result for free from Google or a similar website.
If you enjoy the old days, let’s cut some fire wood with the ax. If not, let’s be infuriated by Angry Birds. Regardless of which technology you choose, it will be outdated soon enough. It’s your ability to learn the next technology that keeps you relevant in the workplace, as a teacher. You can also entertain young children pretty well with the newest toys.