Older Techies Don’t Have to Be Obsolete

Business Week recently ran an article, ’12 Things You Can’t Say at the Office’. I thought it might have something to do with multi-cultural political correctness. So naturally, I opened the online version only to find that the diversity category being addressed was generational differences and the technology terminology gap between young and old. There are few diversity challenges more global and with more economic impact than the fast pace of technology development. I was prepared to be on the ‘old’ side of technology, but I underestimated how far into ‘old’ I was and what that would mean.Let me begin describing my dilemma by stating that I’m pretty technically savvy for a senior. I have an e-zine, a blog, an online store and a web cam (although I currently can’t seem to make the camera’s sound work). So imagine my dismay when the article started to cite words and technology that were outdated, but I hadn’t heard of yet.I’d never heard the words intranet and extranet. They refer to sites that were either limited to internal corporate users or extended to corporate partners. Not to sorry. You can just say ‘VPN’ today – virtual Private Networks which apparently can be reworked for external use, too.Apparently nobody ‘surfs’ the Web any more. They ‘browse’. The technical reasons for this were explained by I’ll just take their word for it and say ‘Google it.’ And did you know that nobody refers to the World Wide Web now? If you really want to be an old fossil, just use the term, ‘information highway’.I have as much a sense of humor as the next aging techie, but it was sobering to see that the term ‘PDA’ was gone. PDA stood for ‘personal digital assistant’ back in 1992 and referred to a handheld computer. The article explained that “Today, the preferred generic term for a handheld like a Blackberry or an iPhone is a ‘Smartphone’. Uh Oh! I broke the plastic case for my beloved PDA yesterday and sent my husband to Office Depot to pick up a new one.I’d just finished reading the article when hubby came home with an all too familiar look on his face. It was the look that said, “She’s about to go into technology shock but she has no choice about adjusting to something new, unfamiliar and probably expensive.” Sure enough, not only were there no cases to be found but no PDAs. Thing of the past and it’s time to switch to a smart phone. Apparently my present phone isn’t smart enough so that has to be replaced, too.A few months ago, my son-in-law showed me his Blackberry and tried to convince me to get one. He backed off when he saw my face turn slightly blue as I struggled for air. But now the time for panic is over. I am marching off to get myself a Smartphone and I intend not only to breathe, but to have some fun with it. If the PDA is going the way of the dinosaur, so be it. And while I’m at it, I’m going to upgrade the Webcam, too. There is no old age in technology, only out dated. If you want to make a difference in today’s world, you need to catch up. To be technologically obsolete is to be silenced.

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older techies,technologically obsolete,,generational differences