My father used to warn me that whatever I made fun of him about, would happen to me too.
This seemed unlikely since he was overweight, while I was the athletic picture of health … and he was "technology-challenged" (to put it nicely), while I was the poster-child for early adopters.
The practical realities of age and time have once again proven him right. So I'll use this Father's Day message to remind my kids the same message.
The world changes quickly.
I remember when I was one of the youngest and most tech-savvy people in the room during business meetings. Somehow, now, my kids seem to think I'm like 30 minutes away from needing them to set the VCR so it doesn't flash 12:00 AM all day.
Don't get me wrong, most of my friends still think that I know a lot about technology. And what we do at work may not be rocket science, but it's pretty close. We use neural networks, machine learning, GPUs, and lots of cool technology … and, yes, I still love gadgets.
Technology has always been my friend, and it still is. I love finding a new piece of software that makes me more efficient, more effective or simply makes life a little bit easier. Same with gadgets … I've waited in my share of lines to be among the first for plenty of stupid products. Apparently, however, I'm a little over the hill – and in danger of losing my "early adopter" pin.
The Bigger Picture Is Better
(Or Perhaps I'm Just Jealous I Can't Read The Fine Print Anymore?)
It is true, lots of the technology heavy-lifting is done by others at this point. That is progress.
As my father said, not worrying about all the little details helped him see the bigger picture and focus on what was possible.
My father never used a computer in business. He did buy one later in life, but I think it was only to shut me up – so I'd stop telling him that he needed one.
On the other hand, I wish my mother never got one. She actually makes me feel sorry for tech support workers around the globe. If I wasn't worried about how soon my sons say the same about me, I'd joke that if the military could figure-out what she does — and weaponize it — we could crash enemy computers at will.
So it is funny when one of my sons asks me to move away from the computer so he can fix something or make something work a lot easier than to tell me how to do it. It is the circle of life.
A Little Extra Proof of My Age.
I was in a meeting this week with some people (and my 21-year-old son). We were looking at a picture that appeared to have been altered, and I said "that sure looks like it's been Facebooked to me." I'm pretty sure my son still hasn't stopped laughing. Yes, I meant "Photoshopped", and I do know the difference … yet it only adds to the growing proof.
At least I'm good for something, even if (sometimes) it's just a laugh.
Still, it's only a matter of time until his kids think that he is behind the times. And that will be a sure sign of progress too.
Happy Fathers' Day.