O'Donnell Kerr Financial Planners
  • 18 November, 2020

It is just me?

Is it just me, or have I been caught up in a something that affects others of my age?

We live in a world that is constantly evolving – moving so fast it is sometimes hard to simply keep up.

By now I expect you will have gathered I am talking about…technology!

I will let you in on a not-so-well-kept secret.

I am the bane of my work colleagues’ lives, and particularly Neil, who is our go-to person when it comes to technology. Neil is undeniably one of the most patient people I have ever met when it comes to helping me navigate technology in the workplace.

No matter which way we turn in life, we are confronted with technology. For the Gen X’s and younger generations, technology is second nature as they grew up with it. Two and three-year old’s have a new baby-sitter – it is Peppa Pig on an iPhone!

For many baby-boomers and their now-ageing parents, technology has advanced at warp speed. I can still remember having to get out of my chair and cross the room to turn the TV on or off, and to manually change the channel.

So, the question that now arises, particularly for those of us of a more “mature” age, is whether to embrace technology, or to ignore it and let someone else do it for us when we lose our phone contacts or forget a password.

I am of the view that while outsourcing technology to one of our kids or even to one of the emerging number of “geeks” offering their services for hire makes sense for many, persevering and learning how to manage technology myself should hold me in good stead for the future.

Google and YouTube have become my friends when it comes to learning how to do most things, including managing technology.

No matter which way we look at it, technology is here to stay and it is going to continue to develop at an exponential rate.

To ignore technology, is to do so at our peril.

The way I look at it, if I can manage the technology I have to use on a daily basis both in my home and at work, my knowledge will grow incrementally. But if I take a break from hands-on management of my technology by outsourcing it for a while, when the time comes to become re-engaged, which it will at some stage in the future, I will be so far behind I may never catch up.

Just look at how older Australians have been impacted by technology – bank branches are closing causing more people to rely on internet banking; the government wants us to deal with their various agencies, including Centrelink using a MyGov account, and the traditional telephone service is progressively being replaced by the NBN. Even taking a photograph and having it printed now requires the use of technology.

While dealing with technology can be a real pain, I feel that if I can manage to fumble my way through the issues that arise, I will be better equipped to handle what the future throws at me.

I may be slow to pick things up, I may ask a lot of questions along the way, and I may not grasp it straight away, but in the end I will feel a sense of achievement when I “work it out” for myself.

Somehow, the technological onslaught is something to be mastered and not avoided. At least that is my take on it.

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