Remember that phrase – the digital divide? It was popular a few years ago as it appeared that middle to upper class urbanites were embracing technology easier, faster, and cheaper than those in rural areas.
Guess what? The real divide is happening right here at home, in small and large business america! The digerati have formed their own language, customs, and of course technology – and the rest of the masses are slipping slowly behind, almost completely unaware.
When people who work in IT still don’t know about the reams of evidence against the security flaws of IE and preach, “Hey, stick with Microsoft and you’ll be fine!” I am stunned.
When people who use the internet every day at work, still don’t know what “Favorites” are or what tabbed browsing is or even how to get to their own web site without typing it into Google, I start to get depressed.
When I get emails after announcing free tech support sessions at a nearby internet cafe, asking “What is wi fi?” I start to think there is a serious problem developing. These are all educated people I am talking about, yet they are absent what I consider fundamental skills for working in the knowledge age.
It’s easy to fall back on one of my old rants – we live in a world starved of adequate training. Which is true.
But I sense the underlying issue includes a tremendous sense of overwhelm – knowledge is being created faster than we have learned how to integrate it. And our good friend (I mean that sincerely!) – Denial – is how we cope.
I fly a lot. I love printing my boarding pass at home pre-flight. I can change my seat – better ones often open up at the last 24 hours – and I get to skip one of the nasty lines at the airport. Even in such digital centers as SFO, I have never seen anyone else with a do it yuourself boarding pass. The airlines in this case have created a great system to help them and us – yet hardly anyone is using it. Why?