The Digital Divide: Growing Up Analog in a Digital World
Do you remember pay phones? Do you remember when pay phones were a dime a call? If you laughed to yourself just now then you are a “Digital Migrant”. One of “those” people who grew up without a cell phone, much less a smart phone. One who had a rotary dial phone that stayed with the house or apartment when you moved because it was hard wired in to the wall.
The Digital Divide is real – a place on the time continuum that marks the beginning of the digital generation, much like the mark we call the Continental Divide where water either flows to the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific. This mark on that line we can only see in our imagination is where the generations overlap, the old meets the new, the spot in time that says “Welcome to Your Future”.
If you were born after 1995 then you are of the digital generation or more succinctly put a “Digital Native” born into a world with the daily use of cell phones, computers, cameras (with no film) and the super ability to zoom in with just a pinch of your fingers. No one born decades before would have ever imagined a time when we would speak to our computers, Siri or Alexa and it would be considered normal.
The Digital Migrant is described as the generation that had to learn everything twice. If you learned to type on a typewriter with carbon paper you now must master a computer and have spell check and apps to check your grammar. If you mailed handwritten letters you now send an e-mail or text or FaceTime or Snapchat or Instagram…. And the list goes on.
The world is smaller and business is done at the speed of sound. We Skype the team in China to make sure production is on time, we track the containers on the ocean to make sure arrival is on schedule and we text our kids some lunch money to their phone. This new generation will have their own divide to deal with too, self-driving cars, self-flying personal vehicles, wearable technology that will tell us more than we may want to know about our health and wellbeing.
The same goes for entertainment. It was an event to drive to the nearest Blockbuster to choose and rent a movie on VHS and then have to return it on time to avoid late fees. Now, entertainment is at our fingertips through our phones, computers and big screen TVs.
So next time you see someone like me struggling to open the correct app or scan the right code or turn on the front facing camera so that we can see each other on FaceTime, REMEMBER: my camera used film that we took to the local drugstore to get developed in a week! And the only way to share them was to mail them or hand the printed photo to someone in person.
So be kind and remember to rewind.
By Scott Sullivan
Scott Sullivan, a life-long entrepreneur and professional salesman, brings his 30+ years of sales and marketing experience to Inspired News Radio. Scott's two podcast radio shows, “Sales with Sully” (for sales professionals) and “Mind Your Own Business” (conversations with influential entrepreneurs) can be found at InspiredNewsRadio.com. Follow Scott on Facebook and Twitter @SaleswithSully and on LinkedIn and his website: www.ScottSullivan.biz.