Being over 40 in this new digital age
I used to consider myself tech savvy. I would easily navigate myself around Microsoft Word. I knew how to save files on to floppy disks and hard disks. I knew what SD cards and USB memory sticks were. I could compose and send emails like a champ and I could even create whatever I needed using Publisher (or Punisher as I used to call it), but most of all I felt like I was in the loop. I had a handle on technology, times were changing and I was staying on top of it! Then something happened. I fell behind. I got comfortable with the tools that I needed and used on a daily basis. Sure, I upgraded my computer with more memory and a faster hard drive when it started not to work properly, but the need to educate myself and seek out what was new just wasn’t there. At the same time, technology started to grow at an exponential rate. I would just start to understand one upgrade only to realize it was already out of date and everyone was talking about the new one coming out next fall. Google became a household name and texting and smartphones were quick to change the way we saw and communicated with each other. The world became very small when we could YouTube whatever we wanted to see and learn whatever we wanted to learn.
The Social Revolution
Then came Social Media. Probably the biggest technological advancement in how society interacts with each other-ever. I set up a My Space account when I first heard of it, but quickly heard from my tween-age nieces that My Space was “lame”. I was introduced to Facebook shortly thereafter. My world turned upsidedown and I became an addicted ‘creeper’ before I knew it. Oh the joy of being able to see what ever happened to that ex-boyfriend or that girl I am pretty sure they scripted Mean Girls after! I was hooked and so were a billion or so others.
I started to feel in the loop again. I was Googling my face off and watching every tutorial I could get my hands on. Here I was, early 30’s, and I felt like the teens had nothing on me. I got this, right? Wrong. More and more social media channels started to surface. “Oh you have got to be on Twitter!” “What do you mean you have a Windows phone?” Have you downloaded that new app? “Have you heard of Instagram, Pinterest, Houzz, Snapchat, Tinder, Linkedin, Tumbler, Vimeo, Skype, foursquare, flickr ?” Ahhhhhh!
What the hell happened? WTF? LOL! How did everything change so incredibly fast and how did I fall so far behind the tech eight ball? The answer? I got old, not granny in a retirement home old, just old enough to have a enough things on my plate like a busy job, kids, husband, bills to pay etc., to make it impossible to keep up. Things were moving at a rate faster than ever before and there were no signs of slowing down.
Fast forward 10 years later and I am, ironically, working for a digital media company. My job now is to try and help business owners who, like myself, feel like the world changed too quickly for them to keep up. These owners feel like they once were the innovators in their field and now they are struggling to even wrap their head around it all. My young millennial co-workers do their best at keeping me on top of the changes enough for me to explain them to clients but let’s face it, they have an understanding of all this stuff way better than I do. They were born “plugged in” and the generations to follow will have even greater skills. Fortunately, companies like this exist to make the rest of us look like digital rockstars even if we don’t fully understand it. So, now I don’t stress as much about it. Growth, change, innovation, it’s all apart of life. A life I am more than happy to be a part of!