Getting left behind

I have just spent most of the weekend out at my parent's place, building a gigantic wooden playhouse for my 2 little girls.

Today, I caught up with my dear old grandad who was visiting, which was lovely. Grandad has Alzheimers, and it's normal to have the same conversation over and over again in any given visit - that's just how it is, and it's fine.

Today Grandad asked what I was up to and what I did for a job. I was about to say that I did search engine optimisation and internet marketing, but saw my father shaking his head as in "don't go there". So I said I make websites, and still got a blank look.

So I said that I "do stuff with the internet" and got more blank looks.

So my final answer was that I repair computers, which is what I did do about 5 years ago. Grandad understood this, having run a projector repair business for as long as I can remember.

This got me thinking...

My old Grandad, who is now in his eighties and has no short term memory would have LOVED the internet if he had been say, 20 years younger. He's technically minded (more so than me) and quite capable of solving problems by applying logic to them.

He was amazed today when I explained that we don't actually "fix" computers anymore, we just swap out faulty parts. In his day he would be spending a week with a soldering iron nutting the problem out. Last time I saw him, he was also amazed with the graphics on some 3D world war 2 games I showed him, being a WW2 veteran and all.

Keeping up with it all

Grandad is old enough that he doesn't have to deal with this whole interweb thing. But for everyone else, you have to learn as much as you can or be left behind.
I'm not even 30, and I find myself just not understanding certain parts of younger culture - Myspace I just don't get - I honestly thought the whole site was taking the piss until someone explained that the designs are supposed to look like they do. And Justin Timberlake's "music" is another example that come to mind.

And then there's Youtube. I totally appreciate and respect it for what it is, but I'm not spending hours each day trolling through content like many users are. I have very little interest in creating my own video or uploading content to Youtube, and haven't yet considered the different ways of leveraging Youtube for marketing purposes.

How long before I get left behind? I'd say less than 5 years with that attitude.

Viral video marketing, as only one example, is already changing the way websites, SEO and marketing happens. It's worth keeping an open mind if we are to survive in this amazing new world we have.
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