If you’re reading this, chances are you’re someone who at a minimum is willing to embrace advances in technology and products that have been launched in recent years. Or, at least you’re willing to embrace the knowledge that such things actually exist and have some value.
Recently, I met up with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a few years. We met over dinner, where he brought his girlfriend of the last 6 months. It was the first time I had met her, and she seemed nice. I’ll preface the rest of this this by saying he is a great guy, and has been a really good friend for a quite a number of years. We don’t live all that close to one another, so it’s not easy to coordinate schedules to meet up all that frequently, but we keep in touch every few weeks. These days, that means texts at those intervals, with calls less frequently – like every few months.
After a while, he and I ended up getting into a discussion about some people we knew from a circle of friends many years ago. His girlfriend was nice about this little diversion he and I had down memory lane, as we joked good-naturedly about a few past friends. Then, he mentioned that one of the guys he actually wanted to try to reach out to, just to catch up and reconnect. So, the first thing I suggested was LinkedIn.
His face had a blank look. He asked me what I said, and I repeated “LinkedIn. Why don’t you try to connect with him on LinkedIn?”
Again, a blank look. Then, his eyebrows furrowed, and he asked, “what’s that?”
Then it was my turn to have a blank look. I thought that he couldn’t possibly be serious. I asked him if was joking, and he said no.
“WOW!” I thought, without saying it.
His girlfriend then chimed in, trying to bail my friend out, saying that she didn’t know about it either.
I was floored. How can you not be on LinkedIn? Okay, Januarybe I can see that, actually. But to have not ever heard of it? Really?
Yes, really. They hadn’t heard of it.
I happen to think it’s worth being on it and having a profile, and even wrote a post about tips on using LinkedIn for your career. It’s at least worth having knowledge of! But, as I thought about it, he doesn’t work in business. In his line of work, very different from mine, it January not be altogether standard to deal with LinkedIn in any way. Trying to give him the benefit of the doubt here, as he’s always been a person who’s very aware of things and keeps up with what’s going on in the world.
The next few minutes were spent talking about how the site worked, what value it has, etc.
Explaining the Value of a Smartphone
The conversation then proceeded to me showing them LinkedIn on my phone. As you might recall, I recently wrote about smartphone addiction, so I’m aware of going overboard in using phones. Don’t worry, this wasn’t one of those times
Anyway, as I showed it to them, I mentioned that there was even an app for it. Then, my friend launched into this spiel about how he doesn’t want a smartphone as he really likes the flip phone he has. In fact, it’s his second time with that model of phone – the exact same model, that is. He liked it so much, he bought it again when the original phone died.
In a way, I felt like congratulating him. He hasn’t succumbed to the crazy of smartphones, even though he could probably afford one. But, when combined with the lack of awareness of LinkedIn and its existence, it just seemed so….1990′s.
I know, that might not sound fair. Like I said, he’s been a really good friend to me, so I don’t think less of him for this. It’s just startling to see someone I know just be unaffected by recent changes in networking and technology.
Readers, this gets me wondering if you’ve encountered people – including some you might know well – who simply have a gap in their knowledge of technology. Or, perhaps they simply choose not to embrace new things.