Route 66 Installment #47: Technophobia & Seven Things You Need NOW!Reading Time: 4 minutes
Technophobia is fear of technology.
It’s often irrational and, quite frankly, a huge barrier to many people who “missed the memo.”
Although older people (like me) are often considered to be technology-challenged, I have actually been involved with tech-centric businesses since the 1980s and started using social media in 2005 — long before some of our summer interns had graduated high school.
Young professionals who grew up with technology may not be technophobic, but they may believe that influencer marketing, TikTok, and Reels are the only keys to prosperity.
Regardless of age, stage, generation, or phone model and style, we need to accept the fact that automation is essential to all aspects of our personal and professional lives, and those who don’t Embrace the Machine™ may be doomed to fall behind (or face challenges in employment, relationships, and new opportunities).
What Are These Seven Things?
- A thorough understanding of ALL social media platforms. I cringe when I hear “marketing consultants” tell thought leaders and business owners that online video is the only key to growth. Social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are great for building brand awareness and even sales of consumer products, but I know very few people who’ve made major purchases because they like someone’s dog or dance. If you’re spending all day captioning your latest Insta video, who’s looking at your P&L or focusing on your strategic plan for 2023?
- Strong branding and Google cred. What do people find when they search for you online? Whether you’re looking for a job or a date, your online presence is powerful and lasting. Consider it the “clean underwear” of public perception.
- The right messaging for the media. Become familiar with the “rules” of social media engagement and online communication. For example, typing in caps is like yelling. Carrying on personal conversations on someone’s Facebook wall is just weird. Find a mentor who knows the lexicon and nuances and ask them to tutor you. (I can do that too!)
- The right platform for the purpose. Apps like Slack and Monday.com lend themselves to certain types of “talking.” Google Docs is a great place to share collaborative work. Get rid of those file folders and binders. The planet will thank you for it too.
- At least one device that “listens” to you. Voice technology is here to stay. Become familiar with what it is and think about how you can use it to go “hands-free” at home and in the car.
- Knowledge of wearable technology. This field is still in its infancy. But if you’re temporarily or permanently disabled, suffer from conditions that impede mobility, want to measure your diet, heart rate, and sleep quality over time, or simply want super-human strength, check out some of the cool advances. I plan to live to be 100+ and be reinforced with high-tech artificial parts — internally and externally.
- An open mind and fearlessness. Examine what might be holding you back from learning new technologies and ways to use them. I get it. Change sucks. No one likes to feel stupid. But the rate of change in technology is only accelerating and those who run away from it will fall further behind professionally and perhaps even socially.
The Anti-Ageism Robocop
If my generation is going to remain relevant and employed, we need to face fears of technology, keep an open mind, and find mentors who can help accelerate their learning.
We need to marry automation and humanity, consistently asking ourselves:
“Does this tech make me smarter? Build my business? Make my life easier? Connect me to the right people?”
The media loves to make fun of older people as “tech-challenged,” which I find offensive and untrue.
If we’re going to change that perception, we need to do the work.
I bought my mother her first tablet at 94. She learned how to use it and often urged me to upload more pix to her Google Photos album. She discovered that being tech-savvy reduced loneliness and connected her to her great-grandkids in powerful ways.
My knowledge of tech has contributed to my remaining gainfully employed well into my 60s.
Like sex, tech is sometimes “wasted” on the young.
Our generation can find applications for automation that inexperienced business people may not think of. And those people can often teach us what “buttons to push” and how to edit the perfect Reel.
We all have experiences to bring to the tech table. Overcome your fears. Power up your devices.
And get busy Slacking or get busy dying.
For more about technophobia (and its cures), click away!
|Who’s at risk for technophobia? Great facts and stats
|Need a tech sherpa? I do personalized training.
Please PM me (that’s private message me at firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
|Why tech shaming is wrong
|This glossary is colorful and cool — for all ages and tech stages.