One of the things that came up recently in conversations with my older relatives was exactly what I did for a living. This has changed from something extremely technical (working for an Affiliate Network) to something slightly less technical though nonetheless highly skilled – working as a marketing and PR exec for a nutritional supplements company.
I have a variety of tasks that I perform day to day, including looking after the website we run as well as creating ads and press releases. Said relatives understand some of this, however other parts of it just completely are beyond their understanding. Which is what brings me to the eponymous title.
I’ve ran a few blogs and been contributing to others for a very long time. My folks are aware I do this, and I’ve shown them the backend of blogger for instance, so they can see exactly how I put content on the web. It still eludes them though, as there is no way they’d be able to do the same for themselves.
My mother was lucky enough recently to win an Ipod. It wasn’t a huge video Ipod but just a nice little Ipod Shuffle. However, I still had to come along, install Itunes, put some songs on there and even show them the play button. To the best of my knowledge, play has remained the equilateral triangle on its side for the best part of thirty years now. Seems strange that they have to ask me which one it is then!
Being unfamiliar with technical gadgetry is one thing I suppose, given how fast things can and have moved recently. However, I suppose this all points to a gap between generations in the form of the amount of information and new technology we have to adapt to every day.
Let’s look at a quick straw-poll list I’ve gathered:
DVD (including writers)
New types of fuel
Computers (both new and old)
Various versions of Windows
The Internet perhaps points to the greatest change of all. Younger generations keep in touch faster, play together more (WOW and Live to name just two), get news faster, listen to Podcasts and much much more. They are far more adept at picking up the stuff they want to know about, as well as letting other people know about it. It’s no surprise then that families sometimes have concerns!
Of course, in this ‘information age’ there has been a great deal of change in how we do things. This governs work (imagine not having access to the net to work – well I couldn’t do at least part of my job as outlined above) or even a powerful computer – to create the high-res for print ads I make would take all day! Play has changed too. We’re now well into consoles that can create almost real worlds for us to play in, define as our own and change, as we’d like.
It’s not all doom and gloom however. One of the things I’d always recommend is ensuring we try to follow at least some of the tenets of Web 2.0 – and part of that is making it an accessible experience for all. Everyone should be invited to this seemingly smaller, smarter and generally better world. Let this be an exclusive world – exclusively for everyone. When we achieve this, all of the modern technology we have will truly come into its’ own.