The Rise of Technical Illiteracy
Everyone is not created equal, we all have our strengths and weaknesses and our own unique journeys in life define who we are. These experiences make us more or less receptive to change and that has a big impact on how we interact with the world around us. Bad experiences tend to make people form prejudicial opinions and views about said experience. Age can also do the same thing, its easy to say that once you reach a certain milestone in your life you no longer care or worry about staying up to date in a certain topic like you once did. In some cases this is fine, I mean it would be a bit weird if we all still cared about the evolution of toys and characters we loved during our childhoods.
However there are times when writing off advancements will have a negative impact. Technology is the topic that springs to mind for so many reasons. Its arguably the only sector which has changed so much over the past 50 years and has influenced global society like never before.
This brings me onto the void that exists between people who are update to date with using the latest technology and those who aren't. (For the record I'm classing ‘latest Technology’ as; web browsing / online shopping / email / mobile apps / smart personal devices.)
This week we saw Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg before the US Congress to answer a range of questions around data privacy and the various negative reports in the press. However once it started it quickly became clear that this wasn't going to be a tough interviewing session but more of an underarm bowled game of baseball, metaphorically speaking. Due to the obvious illiteracy of all matters technical from multiple individuals on the panel.
It is easy to laugh at some of the glaring errors that were made during the questioning, but really it shows the work we need to do to close the gap. Members of the US Congress are supposed to be people at the top of their game who hold both great experience and also the knowledge to use the latest advancements to solve the needs of their constituents. Whilst they obviously cant know about every improvement in every field, their questions showed a lack of a understanding at a truly foundational level.
The risk we face by choosing to ignore this gap, is that a significant portion of the population will be left behind and face a deteriorating standard of living. Not being able or confident to use technology to do every day or important tasks such as online forms / applications / socialising & consuming the news, could result in a decrease of the main functions of your life; work / family & personal care.
Its likely we all know someone who needs a helping hand with technology, so if we each reach out to that person we can help improve part of their lives in a big way. This would go a long way to reducing the fearfulness and stigma that a lack of understanding technology can bring.