How To Embrace The Latest Technology — And Why It's Important

18 Dec 2019

How To Embrace The Latest Technology — And Why It’s Important

It’s impossible to embrace all the technological changes that are occurring in the world today

There — I said it!

Even if you work in a technological field, where you’re up with the play, there are probably other technology areas of which you have little or no knowledge. But, as the speed of change increases it’s vitally important to keep as up-to-date as possible with current trends — whether you’re in business or not. Last week I had some unexpected free time which gave me time to think more about embracing technology. Why?

Well, last week, my new MacBook Pro arrived

Embrace technology - MacBook Pro

I spent most of the week on the phone to Apple trying to get sorted what I thought were a few minor glitches.

As it turns out they weren’t so minor.

Regardless of Apple’s superb customer service, there are only so many hours in a day I want to talk to their representatives!

My old MacBook Pro was nearly 9 years old. It still went well — and looked brand new. But, it kind of groaned with all the apps that use a lot of ‘Oomph’ (that’s a technical term!), especially graphics. I can’t bear to part with it at the moment, so I’ve placed it tenderly in the cupboard until such time as I feel comfortable letting it find a new home. Or maybe I’ll keep it as a ‘spare’.

The whole week was involved with technology

In between phone calls to Apple and waiting for operating systems and apps to download and install, I had lots of time to think. I even used a pen and paper! I realised I’d been in business for 25 years in October. I was busy training and the date had slipped by without me noticing. I got to reminiscing a bit. I started thinking about how technology has changed from when I first went into business on my own… way, way back when…

A fun blog post about technological change

It might also be a bit of a history lesson for some.

My first Mac computer was called an LC11. It had 2 MB of memory (No — that isn’t a typo!) I later increased it to 4MB! Wow! You couldn’t even run a wristwatch on that these days! My iPhone 7 has 128 GB’s.

Some of you might remember the internet back then

We had to listen for what sounded like a train smash to know we were connected to the World Wide Web.

Although the internet was invented in 1969 and the World Wide Web in 1989, there was no email and no internet in NZ until about 1997. Broadband was being used overseas in 1997, but New Zealand was far behind the rest of the world. We’d only just got dial-up internet access and had to listen for what sounded like a train smash to know we were connected to the World Wide Web. It could and would drop out on a whim, and you’d have to go through the whole dial-up process again! It was pathetically slow, but because it was all new and exciting, I think we were more patient then than we are now.

Before the internet, communication was handled by phone, fax or telex machine.

Otherwise, you typed and printed a document using a word processor or a computer and printer. (My newsletters were printed and hand-folded. Sometimes I’d rope in friends to help.) Then you put what you’d written into an envelope, add a stamp and post it in a mailbox. Yes, a physical mailbox located conveniently on a footpath somewhere within a few kilometres of your house — if you lived close to a town. 

I started MetaMorphosis Ltd in 1998

This was also the year I got my first website. It’s had many iterations in the meantime. There was no need for a web site in 1994 when I started in business under my own name. In fact, most of us didn’t even know what one was. 

Television

Your TV was as wide as it was deep and there was no way it could hang on the wall without pulling off the gib!

Old television

There were just three TV channels, imaginatively named TV1, TV2 and TV3! You couldn’t watch YouTube on your smart TV because YouTube didn’t start until 2005 and I’m not sure when smart TV’s were introduced.

Programme recording

If you weren’t able to watch your favourite TV shows at the time they were broadcast, you recorded them on videotapes. You played them back via the TV using a video player (all the time hoping the tape wouldn’t unravel or get tied up in a knot!). 

DVD’s and Blue Ray hadn’t been invented. Yet in the meantime they’ve come and almost gone, to be replaced by Netflix, LightBox, Apple TV and other live streaming apps. While my old MacBook Pro (the one now languishing in the cupboard) has a CD drive, I can’t remember the last time I actually used it.

Phones

People talked to each other on cordless landline telephones. Mobile phones were around but were the size and weight of a house brick, and most of the population tended to ridicule those that carried them. The mobile phones of the day seemed to be anything but mobile! In hindsight, those people were trendsetters! In any case, the landline and cordless phones were for TALKING to people, you couldn’t see people by looking into them (unless you had some type of sixth sense!). Today, courtesy of Skype, FaceTime or Messenger etc, you can both see and hear people from your smart mobile phone. 

The first iPhone appeared in June 2007 (only 12 years ago!). Since then other companies have developed their own smart phones. Today 70% of New Zealander’s own a smart phone (up from 48% in 2013). In fact, many have done away with their landlines altogether. According to stats from January 2019 4.77 million people live here in NZ. And between us, we had 6.35 million mobile subscriptions!

Texting hadn’t been invented (1999 in New Zealand), so you still had to call, visit or email people if you wanted to communicate with them.

Getting around

You used paper maps to find your way. In my case, this usually involved a lot of stress and anxiety getting to new places. Opening up maps, trying to figure out where I was in relation to where I wanted to go, turning maps upside down and inside out, worrying about the traffic and sometimes stopping every few hundred metres to check I was heading in the right direction.

finding your way with an old fashioned map

GPS had been developed but it wasn’t until 2000 that governments allowed civilian usage. No-one needs a dedicated GPS now because you can use the one in your phone. I just insert my destination and follow directions (for once!). Best thing ever!

Social media

Prior to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, Social Media was probably the gossip columns! LinkedIn was established in 2002, Facebook in 2004, followed a year later with Twitter. These days it’s almost a full time job keeping up with social media.

Music

When I first started training NLP Practitioners in 2000, I’d cart two big speakers and a large CD player around with me. I’d had wooden cases made for them, so they wouldn’t get damaged — but of course this just made the whole set-up heavier and more bulky. They filled the back of my hatchback, so other training gear had to go on the back seat.

A couple of years later I had the good fortune to visit an Apple store in Orlando, Florida. (Yes, I know, I’m an Apple Geek!). I saw an iPod. I remember thinking that it looked great, but I couldn’t think how I could possibly use one. Then a consultant showed me how I could download music from my Mac onto my iPod, and connect it to a cool Altec Lansing portable dock/speaker. I bought both. It transformed how I delivered music on my training courses, as well as freeing up massive amounts of room in my car and saving my back!

In less than 20 years iPods came — and went

iPods weren’t invented until 2001. Before this we had cassette tapes and a Walkman. This was the first portable music option we had. It had nowhere near the flexibility of and iPod and you always needed to have a pencil handy to rewind the tape when this happened.

cassette tape unravelled

Apple discontinued all but the iPod Touch earlier this year. I recently bought a Bose speaker that’s about the size of a coffee mug. I connect my iPhone to it via bluetooth. The sound is incredible.

iTunes didn’t exist – and now it doesn’t again!

The App Store opened on July 10, 2008 

The first digital camera was released the same year I started MetaMorphosis Ltd.

Before 1998 we used cameras with films. The films stayed in your camera until you got to the end of the film. If you weren’t a photographer, sometimes it might take years to get to the end of a film. Films then had to be pulled out of the camera and taken to a chemist or despatched by mail to be turned into paper photos. This might take weeks and was very expensive. The day you got your photos back was very exciting. 

You were mainly excited because you’d forgotten what you’d taken photos of, so the images were all a big surprise. Other times, if your photos were particularly bad, you wondered why you’d bothered and wasted all that money. If you were organised and the images were reasonable, you’d store them in colossal albums in the attic or a dark cupboard. You could make your friends groan just by mentioning that you had a photo album you’d like to show them!

Photography was very much a hit and miss affair. Nowadays, despite the fact you can take photos of the inside of your pocket, you never need to admit to taking crappy shots. You can delete them before anyone else claps eyes on them. You can keep the good ones in a cloud and play them on your TV accompanied by some appropriate music.

Shopping

Amazon was the rainforest region of South America. You got books from a bookseller or the library. Books were made of paper. You couldn’t download one from the internet to look at on your phone, tablet or Kindle. If the book you wanted wasn’t available here in New Zealand, then too bad! 

TradeMe didn’t exist (1999)

A blog was some kind of typo — as was Google (1998)

People wrote cheques and posted them, (that’s right — in those mailboxes) to pay their bills. I can’t even remember the last time I wrote or received a cheque. And Kiwibank recently announced they are going cheque-less.

These days, according to Nielsen, more than 3.4 million New Zealanders spend nearly 18 hours a week online. We spent $10 billion on ecommerce purchases last year.

Ok, now think about your own experiences of technology
embrace the technology on a table

I’ve detailed just a few of the advancements that have changed how we live and work in the last 25 years. What impact has technology had on your home and work life? For example, think of the massive impact that Apple’s iPad has had on how people do business, read books and do virtually anything on the go. Yet the first one only came out in NZ in July 2010!  We can even do much more on our phones these days. 

The rise of ‘disruptive’ industries

Uber, Lyft, Lime and Airbnb have had a major impact on the taxi, travel and transport industries. These could not have developed without the use of advanced technology.

Why embracing technology is important

I’m pretty sure that, barring some cosmic cataclysm, technological advances are not going to slow down. These and other technologies have sped up the way we do business, communicate with each other, travel, learn and are entertained. While some people shy away from technology — I love it! Technology isn’t going to go away, even if you stick your fingers in your ears and yell “La,la,la,la” until your lungs hurt. It’s here to stay and you’re best to get used to it. Otherwise you run the risk of becoming a technology dinosaur. 

You don’t have to know everything

I only know an infinitesimal amount of what there is to know. But I’m open-minded. I keep an eye on what’s going on and I always like to find ways of doing something quicker, easier or more cheaply. I’m willing to learn. Lie! I love learning

Declassified technology

You may not know it but I love investigating UFO’s, back-engineered technology etc. Yesterday, I learnt that the US Navy has now officially declassified operable patents for anti-gravity and free-energy technology. The Air Force announced on December 6 that ‘Secret Space Programs’ will be declassified in 2020. Exciting!

This information made me begin to wonder about how we might travel and live in the not-to-distant future. We could all be zipping around the world at unimaginable speeds, in anti-gravity craft powered by free energy that comes from a generator the size of a matchbox.

Perhaps we’ll have the ability to beam to our chosen destinations à la Star Trek. And if you think that’s a bit fanciful, think again. Re read this post.

Advancements in technology will continue with increasing speed

It will become more challenging to return to a slower pace of life. So better to embrace technology, learn about it and use it as a tool to enhance your life. As I said at the beginning of this post, you’ll never keep up with every technological advance. But just because you can’t keep up with everything doesn’t mean you should give up and regard all technology as beyond you. I know people who refuse to even engage in a conversation about technology or how it might help them, let alone touch any of it. And I’m not just talking about old people. There are increasing numbers of younger people who are opting out; who have decided — for whatever reason — not to embrace technology. 

How to embrace technology

Treating technology with a curiously relaxed attitude is useful. Be prepared to play with any devices you have. Unless you jump on a device, or drop it from a great height you’re highly unlikely to damage anything. Technology is now part of everyday life. If you shut yourself off from it, that’s one thing less you can communicate about with others. Technology is there to help us do what we need to do more quickly or more easily, so use it to research whatever interests you. Use the various apps to connect and communicate with others. And get a patient teacher.