I’ve been thinking a lot about how things are changing so fast these days… technology is obsolete the moment it comes to market, there’s a new “must participate” social network every week, and publishing, well, after a good 100-year run, publishing is finally being forced to enter the 21st century.
It all feels a little overwhelming sometimes, and I know many people are just plain tired. We raise our glasses to the Dowager Countess who said, “I do dream of a simpler world, as long as we can keep our trains and our dentistry.”
I never thought I’d be this young and yet feel so antiquated, but make no mistake, if you’re over, say, 30, you’re an old fogie. You grew up when there was no Facebook, texting wasn’t the primary mode of communication, and people read “books” made of paper, glue and ink.
It’s sometimes tempting to be a “Luddite.” How lovely to hide out in our homes shunning cell phones, rejecting Facebook, dismissing Twitter, eschewing text messages. And above all, boycotting e-readers.
But I think there may be some very good reasons for us to avoid the avoidance… and instead, embrace the future. (Since, as they say, the future is here.) Here are a few.
1. Staving off dementia. Yep, I said it. You know how they say the best way to avoid succumbing to Alzheimer’s or senility is to keep your brain working. Well, might as well keep it working by learning all these newfangled technologies. What else are you going to do, play Sudoku?
2. Keeping Up is Easier than Catching Up. You know what this is like. If you didn’t learn blogging, Twitter, and Facebook one at a time as each one entered the mainstream, you’re pretty much gobsmacked if you’re faced with learning them all at once.
3. Avoid Old-Fogie-itis. Wouldn’t you rather be the parent or the grandparent who gets it? How embarrassing to hear your kid say, “OMG my mom wants me to read a BOOK, like the kind with paper and stuff. I mean, that’s what my iPad is for.”
4. It’s the Economy, Stupid. Recession hit you much? If so, you’re probably keenly aware of the importance of having marketable skills. And in most lines of work, you’ve got to be up on the latest everything to be perceived as valuable. Just because your beloved rotary-dial phone became extinct doesn’t mean you have to.
5. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em. Or if you’d like another another cliché… you can’t fight progress. You can resist, but that takes an awful lot of energy. Isn’t it more fun to learn new ways of thinking and doing things? Must we get so set in our ways that we become obstinate and annoying?
Okay, now that I’ve written these five reasons, I can see that they’re not going to convince anyone. Your turn.
What are some more reasons to embrace our brave new world? Or alternatively, what are your reasons NOT to?
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