Ask Jules: I'm young but inexperienced with technology.  Is it a problem?

Ask Jules: I’m young but inexperienced with technology. Is it a problem?

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Hi Jules: I feel a bit uncomfortable being in my early twenties and not having as much experience with technology as others my age. Sure, I use technology, but I had a very weird childhood where I didn’t have an iPhone until I was about 19, so I’m still learning things that my peers have known for a time. I didn’t think much about it until my crew mentioned it wasn’t normal. Should I be worried? If so, what should I do?

B: Just because your peers’ education was different doesn’t necessarily mean it was ‘better’. While they may have a deeper understanding of the cultural nuances of using certain devices and platforms throughout their childhood, this intimate relationship with technology is still very new. I don’t think you should be worried, but it’s important to recognize that technology is playing an increasingly important role in the way we interact, learn and work – and have your finger on the pulse to go from before is required.

That doesn’t mean you have to spend hours on social media or playing video games or that you have to invest in a VR headset. This means you need to be curious and willing to seek out reliable sources of information to keep up to date. This will provide you with a basic level of knowledge that is beneficial for navigating today’s world, whether you are personally interested in technology or not.

I think you should follow what’s happening in social media, games, digital reality technologies and artificial intelligence. Social media and games will help you understand the culture that developed around technology during your peers’ childhood. You will also be able to see how these spaces are shaping expression, dialogue and new ways of earning a living right now. For very similar reasons, keeping an eye out for digital reality technologies like augmented, virtual, and mixed reality, as well as artificial intelligence, will position you to be on top for years to come.

Twitter and YouTube are amazing news platforms that allow you to check out informal information from industry leaders, as well as keep up to date with the latest breakthroughs and setbacks. As a starting point — I recommend following Matt Navarre for social media, subscribing to Lex Fridman for artificial intelligence, and subscribing to CNET for gaming and digital reality technologies. I also like MKBHD for tech product reviews and Cleo Abram for a more holistic view of the tech landscape.

Registering these people and organizations will take minimal time out of your weeks, but will provide a solid basic understanding of the technology. Otherwise, this area can easily become overwhelming, so don’t feel the need to overextend yourself.

Finally, it is up to you to decide if you really want utilize certain devices or platforms. For example: if you don’t want to become a gamer, you can tune into a Twitch stream of whatever is currently popular to get a little bit of the gist. Recognizing and understanding why these things are important doesn’t mean you have to fully participate yourself.

You have the autonomy to decide if immersing yourself more in technology is worth it or if you prefer the tone that your childhood gave you. Our generation is the first to have such an intimate relationship with technology from an early age, so who knows, your unique experience might become a superpower.

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