Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Lets talk to some 10 year olds about technology

This is one of those articles which makes you feel old even when your not really. Ten year olds do not remember rotary phones, they are blissfully unaware of what life was like BI (before internet).

The BBC news website team, to celebrate their ten years of existence rounded up some ten years olds and talked to them about future technology.

One of the things they showed these kids was a rotary dial phone:

"I've seen these in movies but never used one before," said one. Another added: "I've seen one in Heartbeat. It must be hard to remember numbers."
My parents had a rotary phone in the 80's when I was a kid. Numbers were not hard to remember, I know its out of fashion but we memorised them.

I know several numbers off by heart, my home phone, my mobile, my work phone, several old work numbers. After all before mobile phones I had a phone card and a charge card, if we needed a number we memorised it or wrote it down.

I also remember when every phone call was from a withheld number and the only way to find out who was calling was to pick up the damn phone.

In recruitment trying to arrange interviews can be a nightmare, the idea of a mobile is for people to be contactable, not for them to stare at the screen because it is a withheld number and then let it go to answer phone or worse just ignore it. I would not mind but anyone that has applied for a job should expect calls from withheld numbers because those are the numbers recruiters call from.

So here is a test to see how old you are: Do you know off by heart your mobile and home phone number?

How many people have had the following conversation on their mobile:
Other person: "What's your number?"
You: "Hang on, I will have to look?
Maybe I am whinging on about things, but is this not the first step of relying on technology too much.

These everyday tasks of memory work the brain muscle which in this electronic age is starting to waste away.

We have been through a lot of temps recently at work and one of the first things we have to tell them is to write things down. Even with all the electronic assistance we have you still need to keep, process and organise a lot of information in your head. If you are not able to memorise your own phone number it is going to be an uphill struggle.

I feel a bit like an old man writing this article but maybe its because technology moves on at such a rate that the only people who are young any more are the ten year olds. Even teenagers are out of date, technology has moved on.

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