My 1.0 Friends

I have wanted to write about this for a long time. The fact is, as always, I’ve been overbusy with my projects, (e.g. with the ZX BASIC Compiler), that I haven’t had much free time.

I was born in the late 70’s. I grew up in the 80 which marked my adolescence (e.g. the ZX Spectrum, but also pop music and many other iconic things of that time). I consider myself a geek and I love new technologies. But, on one hand, I hate consumerism and being always on the cutting edge gadgets (especially if they are expensive). On the other one, if I had money and space I would create my own collection of microcomputers and other vintage machines (which could be consider another form of consumerism).

When cell phones came out (I remember seeing them as objects of luxury to mid-90), seemed more of a snobbery than a necessity. Two years later I had my first phone (a brick nowadays, or let’s say a vintage mobile). After a year, although rates were expensive, the cell phone became almost a necessity. I already knew the Internet. Also, there was no ADSL then, we used modems, but I understood its importance and the revolution that internet would bring to us.

My initial reluctance and skepticism was transformed into understanding and subsequent acceptance of new technologies and new trends. However, I hate being always on fashion. I just hope that some significant part of the flock to move in a direction to follow it myself later. I do not like to be left behind, just, let’s say, an average.

Back to the topic, this is what I have observed with what I call 1.0 people, including some colleagues:

  • They use email to send a short and often urgent message (which could be via SMS, twitter or any other nowadays mobile application
  • Many of the important things they do are done on paper (signatures, letters and documents).
  • To send a document, use the fax
  • When having an appointment, they’re not accurate, “See you in the Park” (where in the park?)
  • They can’t see the usefulness of social networks. Instead, they still think social networks are just for gossiping about irrelevant, superficial stuff (and what happened to Egypt?)
  • They don’t use forums. Everything is done on mailing lists with loooong endless thread.

This list could be endless but I think with this chunk makes the concept clear. Younger people nowadays seem to have assimilated new technologies better. For the veterans, I’ve seen there are three groups: those who has adapted fairly well, those who cannot (usually elder people who also don’t have much interest), and finally those who simply resist to change (“I’ve always done this way and I will continue doing so”). It’s my bet those ones will be the more to be hard hit. ­čśë

Not surprisingly, some related terms have already appeared (slightly exaggerated) that seek to establish the dividing line: Native digital (those who were born with this technology already) and digital immigrants for more greater than have to adapt. Personally I think this division is simplistic: many digital natives are not well versed in technology (or math or language or many other things) and there are older people have adapted perfectly (Steve Jobs and Linus Torvalds are examples of perfectly adapted non digital natives surely you and I know, but it is likely that you also know someone else near to you).

It’s about attitude, not ability or age. ­čśë


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