Watching them, it occurs to me that some day these teenagers will be in positions of authority. They will be the bosses, managers, business owners. And when they are, they will expect us to multi-task and be as comfortable with electronics and technology as they are. When that time comes, I don’t want to be considered an old dinausour who can’t text and talk at the same time. I don’t want to be seen as slow and dumb because I can’t update Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn from my mobile phone. You know what I’m talking about. You surely have the father who isn’t good at picking up voicemail, the grandmother who thinks your cell phone is a calculator, the great uncle who refuses to learn how to turn on a computer because he just doesn’t do that kind of stuff.
So how do you avoid becoming the Old Dinausour?
1. Read blogs
Find blogs about technology. There are blogs written at all knowledge levels. Find one that talks about technology in a way that you understand and makes you comfortable. Look around until you have a handful to follow, then read them regularly. I use Google Reader to track a couple dozen blogs. When I have a few minutes, I can read some of the latest posts.
2. Try out new websites
When you hear people talking about a website you’re not familiar with, go check it out. How many times did you hear people mention Twitter before you checked it out? If someone tells me about a site they visit, whether it’s a tool or information site, I go check it out. If it’s not something I will use, that’s okay. At least now I know what it is the next time someone mentions it.
3. Find out what the younger people are doing.
Look over their shoulder, ask them what they’re up to online, what new toys do they have that they love. I don’t have an iPad, but I have a friend who bought one. This is the latest toy everyone is talking about so I'm watching and talking to him to find out how he's using it. Did you now you can find videos on YouTube of dogs and cats using iPads? Don’t believe me? Go search for it on YouTube. I did.
4. Listen to podcasts.
Portable audio files can be listened to on iPods or any Mp3 player. There are hundreds of people creating regular podcasts on all sorts of topics. Much like the blogs, find one that is about technology and talks about it at a level that makes you comfortable. Download them to your Mp3 player and take them with you in the car, on a walk, anywhere.
5. Get comfortable with change.
My mother always says she doesn’t like change. She’s been saying it for at least 20 years now . That type of thinking is a luxury I can’t afford. We all need to decide we will constantly be learning new things. It’s the only way to keep up with technology, especially now when it is moving faster than ever. New websites and technologies can become outdated in a matter of months. Looking for what’s new is a habit that will allow you to keep up with technology and how our society is using it.
Are you becoming a Dinausour? What are you going to do about it?