12/04/2009 New tools are not scary
Friday late afternoon I spent some time with friends at cafe Maxwell, one of the many nice pubs in my quarter. Winding down from a busy week and looking forward to the long Easter weekend ahead. The sun was shining and the beer was tasty. The conversation took a spin after I mentioned a interesting experience with Twitter. I am not twittering myself but I find it a fascinating phenomenon. I think Twitter and more of these digital tools are still very primitive and mainly appealing to playful and curious early adopters.
My friends reacted sceptically on Twitter. Their reaction was so full of mistrust that it took me aback. Their conservative views on new tools and media were annoying. You should at least try them before you judge. Twitter is dead simple and after one hour playing you can find out for your self: this offers me opportunities and can be fun or this is too time consuming and not my cup of tea. Instead of jumping to conclusions based on information you have read about-the-hype-that-is-called-twitter in the mainstream newspapers.
Digital technology is developing fast. Digital natives are born with their fingers glued to the keyboard and mobiles are growing out of their ears. This generation is not afraid of technology because they are growing up together. Meanwhile the majority of my generation – people in their forties and fifties – is not used to new technology. Most of them avoid it as much and as long as possible. Except the group of older early adopters. These people – amongst whom a lot of (former) hippies, squatters , scientists, artists and some journalists – are really putting in an effort to keep up.
We can not all be genius. Still, it is strange that most of my generation is not interested at all or even afraid of new technology. In the near future they will definitely benefit enormously from digital tools after these have matured in user friendliness and many other ways. In ten to twenty years time they will thank God on their bare knees for the advantages of digital technology. There will be screens everywhere. Including many (wireless and mobile) possibilities to keep in touch with friends and to stay in business even when ones own mobility slows down.
I know digital technology – like everything and everyone else that is new – is looked upon with a certain waiting attitude and sometimes even distrust. Though it is much wiser to approach new tools with keen and critical curiosity. Please explore and enjoy them!