The Technology Bugaboo

Technology is here to stay! Well, not really, because it just changed while you were reading this. But technology as an ever-advancing, ever evolving, rapidly changing phenomenon, and an important business necessity, is here to stay. 

IT’S LIKE LEARNING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Bits and bytes, scrolls and ribbons, right clicks and icons, shortcuts and pathways, worms, viruses, and Trojan horses, function keys and cold boots, displays, screens and keys, mainframes and PC’s, laptops and notebooks, CPU’s and Accessories, USB’s and thumb drives, CD’s and floppies, cursors, underscores, webs and websites, URL’s, Windows which open and close, software, hardware, WiFi and wireless connectivity, cyberspace, touchscreens and keyboards, bugs and crashes, freezes, mice, and tabs, portals, Java, Word and Excel,Twitter and Tweets, wikis, Ning, Facebook or YouTube.  Need I go on?

The technology comes with an always expanding vocabulary, and technical references that would “choke a horse.” And, just when you think you’ve mastered some version of software, along comes a new release.

YOU CAN’T CATCH UP

Might as well reconcile yourself to the fact that you can never catch up. The programmers, software and hardware designers, chip-makers and technology companies (like Microsoft, Intel, Samsung, Sony, AMD, ASIS, and HP), like it this way. They follow a supply/demand mentality although in this case, the supply always precedes the demand. They create a new and better product, and the world “beats a path to their door.”

They constantly look for new products and features, create technology releases that render the current ones obsolete and give you the impression you’re always behind the times – and you are!

THE DIGITAL NATIVE and IMMIGRANT DESCRIBED

If you were born before 1980 you’re in deep do-do. Although not all those born after 1980 are considered “Digital Natives,” those born prior to that year are considered one of the “Digital Immigrants;” a term used to describe those who migrated to the world of technology versus the ‘Natives’ who were born and raised in it.” “A digital native is a person for whom digital technologies already existed when they were born, and hence has grown up with digital technology” as defined by Marc Prensky (On the Horizon [NCB University Press, Vol. 9 No.5, October, 2001]). “Digital Natives are used to receiving information really fast. They like to parallel process and multi-task. They prefer their graphics before their text rather than the opposite. They prefer random access (like hypertext). They function best when networked. They thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards. They prefer games to ‘serious’ work’.” (Prensky 2001a, p. 1) “They have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age.” (Prensky, 2001)

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

As a digital native you may be more comfortable than the immigrants, but in either case you can’t afford to become a digital refugee. If you’re an immigrant consider the following:

–You have to begin learning, understanding, and becoming proficient with the technologies.

–Recognize that you may be constantly behind the “learning curve.”

–Just as any newcomer to a foreign society, you must take time to learn the culture, practices and language; you must invest the time and effort.

–Tackle your fears. Don’t worry about looking foolish or inept. The NATIVES are generally FRIENDLY.

–Purchase a new Smartphone and laptop; start using them.

–Practice, practice, PRACTICE. This is the only way to master the technologies. Remember, most natives have spent tens of thousands of hours immersed in the technologies.

–Consider your studies and exploration an adventure, and an education; ENJOY.

Copyright ©, 2009, Dr. Ben A. Carlsen, MBA. All Rights Reserved Worldwide for all Media. You may reprint this article in your ezine, newsletter, newspaper, magazine, website, etc. as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way, leave my name and bio box intact, and you follow all of the EzineArticles Terms of Service for Publishers.