I was going to post something else but couldn’t resist following the US elections. After all, our lives have been influenced one way or another by what’s coming out of USA in the past five decades.

Obama’s victory speech was awesome, as expected. It is also interesting to hear the analysts, media, and other side commentators; and how the views get adjusted as the results became clearer. It’s also the “twitterest’ election in the history of the world. But of course, twitter was only created in 2006 and reached 500 million active users this year.

It seems that instant messaging will be the future for communications now that social networks have become so prevalent. I used a private chat-based system for forex trading in the 1980s and started using email in the 1990s. When 3G was first launched, my colleagues and I presented mobile commerce as well as tested the latest handphones before they enter the market.

Yet today, I’m one of the last in my group of friends (and possibly Singapore) to own a smartphone. Call it gadget fatigue after years of being connected ‘anytime anywhere’ but the truth is that I’ve been trying to hang on to the comfort of staying unplugged for as long as possible. Anyway, there’s always email to fall back on for connecting to friends and the world.

That’s where I see the problem. Remember the office memo or memorandum. What happened to it now? It’s already forgotten by people who used it and is hardly visible today. Ask any GenX or younger and you know what I mean. I see the same fate happening to email. Its use will gradually be replaced by instant messaging or transformed into new collaborative platforms that reaches out to more people in more places.

What then is the future for boomers in this technology-driven world? Keeping up with IT trends is no longer a choice for us. In fact, the word ‘technology’ may even become obsolete as it gets embedded in every device and in our lives.

The best approach is probably to see beyond technology. Forget that word. Observe how fearless a toddler handles a smartphone. Be as fearless. The worst that can happen is crashing the device. Then start again. But don’t be inhibited by new things. Go on living, experimenting and discovering, and life will be exciting.

Borrowing a line from Obama’s speech, the future is not about what’s for us –

The Future is BY US.



10 thoughts on “The FUTURE BY US

  1. Interesting to see what you have written as for one who does not come from a journalist background though work for a ‘namesake’ and interesting too, especially your first article, walking through time which was as close as being there….keep it up my friend!


  2. Chen Show Mao
    ‎”The role of citizens in our Democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.”
    “The Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight.”
    United States President Barack Obama, acceptance speech today

  3. indeed! i feel more convenient it becomes w communication technology, real communication as human being is neglected more and more. mobile phone or Facebook- i can live without it!
    anyway Im happy to hear obama won!

  4. It is wonderful to see this effort, Joan. Opening up and maintaining a channel of conversation via this blog will, I hope, inspire and bring together people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences. There is an enormous amount of skills and areas of interest that needs to find ways of “finding” each other and the technologies our generation has helped foster and build, will help us as well.

    You lament “…I’ve been trying to hang on to the comfort of staying unplugged for as long as possible”. I am sure this is not unique to you nor to our time. I am sure in the days when electricity began being available and thereby having light at night, there must have been those lamenting a similar lament. But we will all get over it and embrace it.

    Let’s have fun growing older.

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