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So I recently saw something Douglas Adams – author of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy – wrote about how we react and relate to technology as we get older.
It’s amusing and it’s certainly got an element of truth to it … but overall, I think it’s wrong.
Or at least the bit post-35.
I’m not saying that because my Mum is a technology fiend and she’s 82, nor am I saying it because I’m now 44 and will embrace tech like a fat boy embraces cake … I’m saying it because it has little to do with attitude and more to do with usefulness.
You see pre-35 [and I don’t even agree with that age as a cut-off] we tend to be a society who seeks out the new and the exciting. If you’re very young, it’s because everything is new and you want to grasp as much of it as possible … however if you’re in your mid 20’s, new stuff represents an element of escape and possibility from a World where you’re just coming to terms with the fact life isn’t this free-for-all we’d been led to believe it was, but a place where bills and expectations weigh heavy on our soul.
However for those of us who are older, it’s not about any of that, it’s about selfish usefulness.
We have become immune from the sparkly hype … the promises of the ‘next big thing’ … and we sit there with an attitude of ‘impress us’.
And here’s the thing, when something does do that … when something empowers, enables or engages us, we embrace it with a zeal like no other generation, because we see it for what it is and what it can be. It’s not a case of it simply being the new, new thing, it’s a case of us seeing it as the new way to help us to do the old thing.
Whether that’s banking, traveling, spending, exploring or escaping.
Post-35 and you embrace tech based on on action, not hype.
In some ways, this is the audience that can give technological evolution its validity – we can give it acceptance, mass, distribution and possibilities – and yet so many people in tech view this group as the stubborn, the cynical, the slow … but that simply shows many in the tech industry understand us far less than we understand their creations.
What this is all trying to say is that while the young might initially be more open to change, it’s often the older guys who can turn tech potential into tech commercial reality.
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