Shift Your Tech Time Horizon

from Seth’s Blog

Ten years ago, if you were as good at using networks and software as you are today, most of your peers would have considered you some sort of wizard.

The question isn’t whether or not each of us is going to get better at using our tools, the only issue is: how soon?

We can choose to live behind the curve or ahead of it. It turns out that there are significant rewards for pushing through discomfort and getting (much) better at all the resources that are suddenly freely available in data acquisition, learning technologies, financial tech, marketing and networks.

What if instead of resisting until we had no choice, we decided to pioneer instead?

PS the same thing is true for our other skills, including leadership.

More here.

Posted in Future Thinking, Ideas, Technology and tagged , , , , , , .

11 Comments

  1. Being able to hold your own electronically has never been more important. These pass two years have been a perfect example of this. Due to the pandemic, a lot of in person things were swapped out for online programs. Those who are used to working with technology made a quicker and easier transition when compared to those who weren’t. A perfect example of this is school. Online classes were hit or miss, most of the time being a miss. This all came down to teachers not being able to make the transition. As clueless as some of these teachers where it would seem as if they never used a computer before a day in their life. I bring this up because this is exactly what the short article talks about. As technology advances, people most advance too. It’s too late in the technology cycle to sit back and let things advance around us. Technology is only going to advance, if you cannot adapt you will be left behind. Many jobs now require you to have basic or advanced computer skills. A few firsthand example of this happened this year. Firstly, online school was a big change, not a difficult one. My school system had me using laptops since the 3rd grade and I was using my home computer even earlier. This early start undoubtedly has an effect on the efficiency of people my age when it comes to using phones or computers. Another example involves my job over the summer as a cashier. One of the requirements of the job was the ability to use computers. The software use was simple enough to get used to in a day but I could see somebody with my dad who can barely operate his smartphone struggling with it if they had to use it. Compared to me my dad is an extremely less tech savvy. When it comes to this upcoming generation, adapting to the technology around them shouldn’t be a problem at all. Children are receiving phones and computers a lot earlier than before. Even though this might not be the best thing for them on a social or behavior level, when it comes to readying them for the real world, it’s good for them.

  2. The ever-faster pace of digital transformation will completely change the way we live today. While the development, especially in the area of data protection, will put people to the test, it also offers enormous opportunities for our future standard of living. People are often critical of many technological innovations and innovative ideas in general. Everything that means change also means at the same time adapting to new circumstances and thus leaving one’s own familiar comfort zone. There are always only a few people who can imagine the time of tomorrow already in the present. Especially historically, some developments are interesting from the perspective of that time. The discovery of new things out of pure curiosity, but also to find the solution to a problem, is in the nature of man. People have always been looking for a way to move faster, build taller houses or make cities cleaner. A particular accelerator of innovation has always been war. This is true in technology, but especially in medicine. The Internet also has its origins in the Cold War, when the U.S. sought a new way to expand its global communications network. Another factor of outstanding importance is capitalism itself. Under the compulsion to constantly develop new products in order not to be displaced from the market by the competition, companies are highly innovative and constantly engaged in bringing new, even better products to the market. So, if you focus on the individual, the individual is just a passenger in this technological change. The magic word here is adaptation. Those who cannot adapt to the new conditions will become useless and will therefore be discarded sooner or later. This can be observed especially in the world of work. There is a great need in the working world for employees who can handle new technologies. The main victims of this development are people from older generations who don’t really have a feel for technology compared to younger generations. The younger generation has the massive advantage of already being up to date with the technologies and therefore the adaptation is much easier for them.

  3. I think that this article highlights the reason that everyone needs to be beyond comfortable with technology at this point in the world. The days of using paper and pencil are over. This was especially prevalent during the pandemic. Covid forced everyone to shift from in person interaction to virtual. People that struggled with using technology had to go out of their comfort zone to learn and that led to an adjustment period. Individuals who were already good at using technology could just pick up where they left off and were still comfortable. Technology is only going to keep on advancing, so we have to keep adapting. I remember analyzing the quote “”Those not ready to change will wake up one day to find themselves wonderfully prepared to live in a world that doesn’t exist” by Zig Ziglar for my ideas essay. This quote displays the same idea as the article. My interpretation of the quote is that the world is constantly changing and we have to keep on adapting to it. The world that we lived in ten years ago is not the same world that we live in today. I believe that the principle idea that the article is trying to convey is that technology is constantly changing and we have to adapt to it instead of resisting change. I agree with this idea because I have experienced many moments when I have had to adapt even though I did not want to and it ended up turning out for the better. I believe that those who cannot adapt will fall behind, and those who can adapt will succeed. This skill is also very valuable when looking for a job. No employer wants an employee who resists change and cannot adapt. The skill of adaptation is a principal factor when hiring, and that is why we all need to learn to constantly adapt to the situation around us. Overall, I agree with the article in the fact that technology is always changing and we all have to choose to live ahead of the curve and not behind it.

  4. Competency with electronics has never been more important than it is today. Likely, it will only become increasingly more important in the future. It was evident that, during the pandemic, only those who were capable of adapting digitally, or were even able to to begin with, remained afloat. Thousands of businesses had to switch to remote meetings, remote working, and digital methods of work in order to stay in business, while those who’s format didn’t support it simply withered away or just barely survived. But not only is it imperative in the modern world to just stay afloat, but it also provides numerous benefits. The internet is, albeit sometimes incredibly biased, a monolithic collection of humanity’s knowledge. It allows us to communicate with each other, or collect information from thousands of miles away. It is so flexible and nearly universally applicable, that it would be more foolish to avoid its benefits than to use it. As Seth puts it, living behind the curve is a choice: one that is immeasurably thoughtless. Right now, we are nearing a turning point; within the next few decades, or maybe even earlier than that, we will advance far enough that technological growth will begin to increase exponentially. In the past 10 years alone, we have shifted into an era of wireless devices and touch screen smartphones, entire computers in the palms of our hands. Even just 20 years ago that would have been science fiction. Paper and pencil still have their uses. Much of digital media is still, and will likely remain, unsafe. Our data and information is constantly being auctioned off and used for various marketing schemes. Whether you like it or not, your digital footprint, whatever it shows, will likely remain for the rest of your life. Every post, every comment, every image. It all stays on the internet. As much as digital platforms afford us incredible advantages, they are also dangerous for the inexperienced. The Facebook scandal going on right now is a perfect example. Our data is being handled and often mistreated by companies who are looking to make a quick dollar. In spite of that, many refuse to educate themselves on proper internet safety and cyber etiquette. The paper and pen obviously feel safer and more reliable. But it is those people, the ones who resist the change we are living in, that are likely to be washed away. There is no way they will be able to prosper. As technology becomes a more and more integral part of our lives, it becomes inevitable that we must learn to use it to our benefit, rather than at our expense.

  5. I sometimes wonder how can society evolve more than it already is right now. We can communicate with anyone without distance being an issue and we now have cars that can drive themselves. Data and software is the same thing with how powerful they are, but I am sure the question of “How far will we evolve?” was also a question people were asking themselves when they were looking at the data and software that was around a decade ago. Though at the time, there was still more to be desired in terms of data and software that I do not think exists to the same extent today. There were storage issues in devices like iPhones and computers and people wanted a higher quality of display on their devices. Now in 2021, devices have more storage then we could ever use in one lifetime and displays on devices like 4K TV’s look like they are right in your face. At this point, I believe that further advancements in technology will be less created out of necessity, but more from the curiosity of the person that makes it, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

  6. While this article is short, I think the little number of words it contains conveys a much deeper idea. While I do not think it is possible for an individual to be ten years ahead of their time, especially in the technological space, I understand what Seth is getting at. It’s always better to be ahead of the curve, especially with how fast technology is advancing in today’s world. This opens the doors to many benefits such as better jobs, higher job selection, and overall, more money, since these types of people are going to be in demand. New college majors that are coming out, such as financial technology, are equipping students with the skillsets and knowledge that the work field is increasingly demanding. These technology related changes are occurring more and more in business majors. For example, the financial technology major essentially combines the finance major with a computer based major, such as computer science, all into one. This is because these two skillsets are already becoming more inseparable as time goes on. You could know about all the finance in the world, but when you walk into that office and you do not know how to operate a computer or the financial software that is being used, you are basically useless at that point. This is also why the excuse of “I am not a computer person” is not valid anymore. This is applicable to most majors in today’s world. Adults who never took the time to learn more about technology are really struggling during times like this, where they are forced to use a computer to do simple tasks, such as their job. At this point, they have no choice and are almost forced to learn. Yet, had this specific group of people taken the time even just a year ago to learn more about the computer, they would have been much better off today.

  7. This article really gives a thoughtful perspective to the perseverance to always be improving yourself. The first example that it listed about how if you were as good 10 years ago with technology as you are now can be so much more applicable for a variety of different things. Ten years ago I had little to no critical thinking skills whatsoever, Granted I was in third grade, but the conflict comes in that I will be competing very soon with individuals who have had very advanced critical thinking skills for 30 plus years. In order for a young adult like myself and my peers to be successful in tomorrow’s market, we must make the necessary leaps to get ahead of the competition. To go back to the 10 years ago example, I think I should pick a skill or trait that I think would be beneficial to have mastery of in 10 years. I then need to find a way to work harder in order to achieve that in a fraction of the time as plenty of other individuals are also working towards that goal. I could also do the same for a 30-year goal that I will work to successfully achieve in 10 years. This brings to my mind a quote from Bill Gates: “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” No one actually knows what the future will actually exactly hold. This has always been the case for previous generations as well. You can go back and find very interesting predictions that were made many years ago by scholars and other types of people trying to predict what the future had in store. While a few of their predictions became true, a very high amount of them was completely untrue. It is impossible to be able to know exactly what technologies, companies, industries, and skills will be the face of the future. In the face of all this uncertainty, being an adaptable person to knew things could be the most important trait a person could have going into our unsure future.

  8. Technology has advanced immensely over the last decade and being able to keep up is crucial in today’s society. Those who were considered tech wizards ten or fifteen years ago are now considered technologically illiterate if they did not continue to grow with technology advancements. The blog post poses the question, “ The question is not whether or not each of us is going to get better at using our tools, the only issue is: how soon”? Whether we like it or not technology is advancing, and these advancements are not going to wait around for us to jump on the bandwagon. Society has a choice, either get left behind and struggle later on or hop on and enjoy the ride. A really good way to think about this is to look at digital immigrants versus digital natives. This is something that I learned in my digital media class. Digital immigrants are those who learned to use technology at some point in their adult lives. Digital natives are those who grew up with technology. Digital natives are normally born after the 1980s, so think the millennials, and the digital immigrants make up everyone born prior to that.

    I believe that keeping up with technology is important no matter your age because technology is the future. Sticking to the digital immigrants versus digital natives storyline, there is a divide in the digital natives that creates almost a middle category. The digital natives are currently made up of 2 generations. The millennials are those born between the 1980s and 2000. Everyone born after 2000 is considered a part of generation Z. Researchers have spent many years observing these two generations and have come to a consensus. They divided the generations into two groups, those born after 1980 and those born after 1993. In this research they had found that the younger group had more positive attitudes towards the internet, having less anxiety when using it.

    The blog also asked, “Instead of resisting until we had no choice, we decided to pioneer instead”?

    To me, the only answer that I believe to be true is that we will never know until we try. Whether people want to believe it or not, technology is advancing, people are advancing, and neither are stopping to help those that are struggling in the back. So, it is vital that those who are not or are no longer technologically savvy, begin accepting that technology is the future now.

    The younger generation already has a head-start because they grew up with technology, and it is these same children who will be pioneering the technology advancements in the coming future.

  9. With the advancement of the digital age, technology is the future regardless of industry. For a long time this has been evident, the most recent indication being Facebook’s rebranding to Meta. Mark Zuckerberg plans to refocus his company on what he sees as the next digital frontier, which is the unification of disparate digital worlds into something called the metaverse. A metaverse is a composite universe melding online, virtual, and augmented worlds that people can seamlessly cross. This, along with self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and many other innovations, is a testament to how crucial it is to live ahead of the curve or risk getting left behind.

    I have had experience with professor’s refusing to adapt to the use of technology once the pandemic hit. When schools shut down and classes were conducted on the digital medium in full swing, teachers, professors, tutors had to equip themselves with new technological skills. In the lockdown months, they have evolved from having a working knowledge about using Zoom and other online apps and tools to delivering lectures over the Internet to students in the comfort of their homes. The resistance was acceptable during that first semester as the shift to remote learning was unexpected but when the following fall semester came around, professors had no choice but to push through the discomfort of learning new skills in the realm of technology.

    Understandably, some have resistance to technology because of privacy concerns. Scammers use a variety of technologies to target older adults to such an extent that the FBI posts warnings on its website. In 2019, the Senate Committee on Aging convened hearings on fraud against veterans and a Social Security scam that cost seniors $38 million that year. Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started requiring phone companies to implement Caller ID authentication technology and block illegal calls as many fraud schemes against the elderly are performed over the telephone. Hopefully, an enforced federal law will make it difficult for fraudsters to target the elderly through all forms of technology (not just phone calls), so older adults will be more open to technological literacy.

    This need to live ahead of the curve is crucial for the corporate world as well. As stated in the article, there are significant rewards for pushing through discomfort and getting (much) better at all the resources that are suddenly freely available in data acquisition, learning technologies, financial tech, marketing and networks. Companies can risk their success due to a misalignment between their technology and business strategy. IT shortfall is the lack of technology for business activities, and IT slack is having more advanced technology than needed for current business activities. Technological literacy allows companies to capitalize on and efficiently use the technology they have.

  10. I think the minimalistic approach of this article makes it so compelling. Because of the pandemic, most work offices were closed. This led to a huge portion of workspaces moving electronically. Many businesses will continue to work virtually after the conclusion of the pandemic as it is more cost effective than paying for an office. Some studies also would suggest that employees work more effectively in their homes. With this move to working fully remotely, as this article emphasizes, it was much more beneficial if you were already technologically capable.
    During this period in time, many older people struggled to keep up with this shift in technology in certain workspaces. For example, I had a high school teacher whose class was limited by his lack of understanding and lack of desire to keep up work electronically. Subsequently, keeping that example in mind, unfortunately many older people will struggle with the move to working electronically. This will cause some of them to not take their job seriously. If they have made enough money, they could retire early. However, if they do not have enough money to retire, they will be forced to look for employment in a job that is undesirable to them.
    On the flip side, as long as younger people are continuing to educate themselves on technology, this will make them more attractive to employers since younger people than older people. Younger people also have more advantages and opportunities to earn certifications or degrees in technology that older people did not have. In fact during my time at Seton Hall, people have been persuading me to have a secondary major in financial technology or get an IT tech certification that is offered here or at another program. With that certification or secondary bachelor’s degree, I will look more attractive to more employers and have a competitive edge over many people looking for jobs that are my age and people that are older in age.
    However, despite the importance of educating oneself about the ever advancing technology, I am still worried that artificial intelligence technology will advance to the point where jobs in the field of study that I am pursuing will be limited or non-existence. Despite my concerns, I will try my best to continue to educate myself about the constantly evolving technology for work and recreational purposes.

  11. Technology is something that will always be in our lives. It is something that we now rely on every single day and that will not change. This article highlights the reason that everyone in today’s society has to be comfortable with technology and where it stands in the world. All of this is because of the recent pandemic. The recent pandemic has affected all of our lives in tremendous ways, this caused all employees to do their work at home. This may sound like an easy task but there can be a lot of issues with working remotely. On top of this, many businesses were forced to have virtual meetings, remote working and many other digital methods to stay in the certain business. As technology keeps advancing in various ways, it is most important that we as a society adapt to this change. Many school teachers, professors, and business owners, have no technical knowledge on any platforms. Many professors still prefer to teach without a smart board just to lecture their students. Even in writing class, you type your paper out and print it out, there are no more writing papers with a pencil it is all digital. Keeping up with technology is hard if you were born in 1980 being a millennial. The next generation is gen Z. These are the kids born after 2000. They are growing up in a technology world and they will learn that it is a part of society. Back in 1980 they grew up without technology and they had to evolve and adapt to that. They have a different perspective than anyone. These technology related changes are occurring more and more in business majors. For example, the financial technology major essentially combines the finance major with a computer based major, such as computer science, all into one. This is because these two skill sets are already becoming more inseparable as time goes on. You could know about all the finance in the world, but when you walk into that office and you do not know how to operate a computer or the financial software that is being used, you are basically useless at that point. The article makes this very clear point and this is why you can’t say I am not a tech savvy person. Technology is applicable in almost every major in today’s world. This article does a very good job on bringing to light the advance of technology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *