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Stop, you’re moving too fast!

sallyg September 14, 2010

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Do you ever feel the need to slow down with technology and change?  I even work in software, and I often feel overwhelmed.  As soon as I learn my phone, there is a new one out and I’m behind the curve!  I am thankful for all that is at my fingertips and have already forgotten what it was like with so many of these “conveniences”.  It’s just a lot to keep up with!

I love the easy access to things on the web.  My son just started 3K, and they just completed their Sally Foster gift wrap fundraiser. It is no longer the same door to door sales pitch with the catologue of papers.  You could sell gift cards, but what you primarily did was fill out a form with all of your friends and family email addresses.  They then got an email that would register their purchase for the school and student when they shopped.  The papers are then delivered directly to their door.  Pretty easy for everyone, especially for me with family out of state that wants to participate.

Then, I got a change I wasn’t ready for.  I love to read and can still remember the excitement of getting the Scholastic brochure.  The brightly colored mini-newspaper filled with pictures and descriptions of books.  I would study each one and circle those that interested me.  Then, I would come in from receess or another activity and the little stack of books would be waiting for me on my desk.  I now read my son some of these same books.  I got a letter last week that instead of the classic brochure, the books were now available for purchase online.  I tried the site, and it just wasn’t the same.  I can’t help it, I want to read over the brochure with William and circle our choices.  I want check the little grid of our selections and attach a check.  Something is lost for me in the experience.

Do you feel like you are ever juggling the new and the old?  How do you keep the sentamentality we all have about different experiences but help move forward?  Often, things are easier and cheaper when they are newer.  Sometimes they are just “staying with the times”.  It is a constant balance as we all provide services and communication.  My church has started emailing a weekly newsletter but still mails a monthly newsletter.  I love having the email so I can update my google calendar of activities but to study the detail of the mailed calendar at my kitchen table.  Sometimes it takes a bit of both.  How do you keep the balance?

  • Randy Reigel

    I’ve been involved with the IT industry for nearly 30 years, and the pace keeps accelerating. I believe Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors that fit on an integrated circuit will double every two years – and it has for the past 45 years! Associated with that increase, nearly every aspect of the IT industry has followed suite – to the point where I believe humans are having troubles keeping up.

    One small example I’d like to share is trying to teach my grandfather to play checkers (droughts to him) on a computer. He loved to play (and crush) anyone that had a couple minutes to play a game. However, as he aged and people went their separate ways, he had no one to play / demolish, so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone. It was somewhere around 1999 and I had an old PC that I wasn’t using. It was terribly slow, but it had enough horsepower to run checkers. I installed the game, found a spare monitor, keyboard, and mouse and started back home to set it up and give him some basic instructions on how to boot the PC, load the game, and play. Well, I greatly overestimated my ability to teach him how to use a PC. Starting the PC and loading the game was fairly easy, but teaching someone in their mid-80’s how to use a mouse was maddening! Although he was a member of Mensa, he could not grasp the concept of moving the mouse forward on its pad to make the cursor move up on the screen. Same with going the opposite direction. It showed that technology, while something I love, and something mankind needs, can be difficult at times for humans.

    On the other side of the coin, take my granddaughter; at 6 years old, she can turn on the computer, navigate to her favorite web sites, play games, do homework, and generally scare the heck out of her mother. (Safeguards are in place.)

    Like I said, I’ve been in this industry for a long time. I have owned more systems than the number of years some people have lived, and I agree with Sally – it (the IT industry, and technology in general) moves sofast that there are days I’d much prefer to be a park ranger, cowboy, river guide, or anything that doesn’t require me to sit in front of a computer screen all day worrying about what technology is speeding past me at the rate of Moore’s law.

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