Christie Koester

Christie Koester is a Marketing and Communi- cations Manager and a Graphic/Web Designer in Eagan, Minn. She is also a freelance designer and writer and has written several articles for the Shakopee Valley News and KSTP as a community reporter. Koester is writing her first novel. | Follow Christie on Twitter at @christiekoester or check out her personal blog.

Are you scared of technology? You might be harming yourself.

Posted by: Christie Koester Updated: December 6, 2010 - 7:28 AM

I just haven’t had the time to learn. I’m too busy. Is it me or are others also hearing this excuse a lot? Maybe not these exact words, but one can read between the lines...

For me, there are bigger issues:
 
  1. Poor time management
  2. Unwilling to accept change
  3. Fear of technology
I mean…come on…isn’t there an app for this excuse yet?
 
I get and understand that people are busy. Most of us are. I’m guilty of it too—I once launched a banana off my car driving on Highway 169 because I was hurrying to the next task and forgot where I left my snack.  Even Kenny Chesney tells us all about life rushing by in his song, Don’t Blink. Life goes fast, it’s getting faster and it’ll be over in a ‘blink’ if we’re not careful.
 
And technology can help. It’s really not that scary.
 
Yes, there are many bells and whistles in the technical world—it’s hard to keep them all straight. We can warm our cars in parking lots while we finish up work. We can Skype people overseas. We can find our partners online. And track our calorie intake through our cell phones. What can’t our phones, computers, cars, houses do? 
 
And guess what? Technology is going to keep progressing (i.e. getting faster, better, crazier). And in order for one to grow—let alone keep up—one must get acquainted with it; otherwise they’ll be ‘left behind’.
 
So why are we still doing so many things the old-fashion way, delaying action items, work flow and results? And why are we okay with this?
 
I wasn’t born with a computer in my crib, as some might argue. I’m in my early thirties. The first time I was introduced to software other than Word or Excel was my sophomore year in college. This was a big deal. The class was public speaking and a presentation was due. I dusted off my 3 x 5 note cards and handwrote bullet points, until the teacher stood up and told us our next speech had to be presented with the support of Power Point.
 
What?? She was making me?
 
I didn’t have the slightest clue what I was doing, but if I wanted a good grade, I had to learn. There wasn’t training offered or a teacher guiding me...or room for excuses. Learning was expected. I was in college for a reason, right? I set aside time.
 
Who did it benefit? Me. And the people who hire me.
My knowledge of the software was self-taught—the best part—it didn’t cost me a thing. It simply took a few moments clicking the “help” button or “Googling” questions. Yes, I got stuck. And yes I wanted to pull out my hair, but I was later hired for a couple internships (where I learned more programs and software) and then hired out of college because my ‘technical’ background …geez, and all because I gave learning a chance. I wanted to learn more.  
 
My question: Should there be technology requirements enforced in the workplace? As in, if you aren’t going to embrace your computer or learn new technologies, software, databases, etc., you won’t be getting an A (i.e. a promotion).
 
In the long run, there must be limitations to the time and investments companies are able to spend on those who choose to fight technology and refuse to adapt. Wouldn’t it make sense for companies to start looking elsewhere; maybe for employees who want to grow? It’s just…wouldn’t you want to be the one everyone is looking for?  

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