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.