Aging With Technology

We need to keep an open mind when presented with options for technological upgrades. These advances often require stepping out of our comfort zone, explains Chris Felix, but the long-term advantages are worth the effort.

When I was a teenager, I became a technology junkie. Audio equipment won me over first. I had to have the fanciest Pioneer cassette stereo for my car, and I became a “regular” in all of the local electronics departments as I shopped around for the biggest and loudest components for my home stereo.

Around the same time, the personal computer was quickly becoming a mainstay in the office environment. As I began my career, I was hungry to take full advantage of all the productivity benefits this new technology could provide. While the progressive minds of the company were eager to be on the cutting edge, others were creating roadblocks because “the old way worked just fine.”

Some people are more resistant to change than others, and to them, new technology can be downright intimidating. While information technology departments across the country regularly struggle with disinclined individuals, they must continue to move forward to keep their companies competitive. In this sense, the technology gurus become salespeople as they must get others to buy into new methods and processes.

In the majority of cases, resistance to change seems to grow stronger as a person ages and becomes more set in his ways. Recently, even I have complained about new software installed on our systems that requires me to enter certain data differently than before. While it’s easy to hide behind excuses about lost productivity due to learning curves and added steps, the fact is that long-term advantages heavily outweigh these negatives.

My son, Joey, is now a teenager. Video technology is his obsession. He thinks I’m old and backward (or maybe just cheap) because we still do not own an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Wii. I stand by the claim that I’m teaching him how to be smart with money, but maybe I’m only squelching the creativity that could one day have a large impact on 3D simulation features of CAM software.