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I'm not a techie

My wife Carolyn wants things to work and do what she wants them to do. She just wants to power them up and use the computer, phone — whatever the device is. That's the extent of her interest in technology. If it doesn't work, she has no patience to figure it out. She either asks me to figure it out or gives up and uses something else.

Last month, I had the privilege of participating in the Missouri Broadcasters Association Convention. One of the sessions was on the rapid pace of change in the digital space with ChatGPT, AI and all the amazing technology unfolding for us daily. Admittedly, I'm a "tech geek." After the presentation, one of the attendees shared with me that she was not a "techie." My presentation "rattled" her a bit because she had no idea about all this new tech.

Author Seth Godin always has an interesting take on such matters. He says it's important to be clear on what we mean when we say "techie:"

I'm going to argue that it involves a combination of two things:

You give technology the benefit of the doubt. You assume that it's interesting, or perhaps benign or even useful. You're interested in what's new. You don't need to be pushed to ask about the next tech thing.

But someone who says, "I'm not a techie," might actually be saying, "I'm willfully uninformed." They might be saying, "I don't give tech the benefit of the doubt and it's uncomfortable for me to keep up with it... but by giving into those feelings, I'm intentionally falling behind." While the term "willfully uninformed" may sound harsh, the reality is that we must at least be proactive in our learning and understanding of what is happening in the world of technology because it will ALWAYS affect us. Do you have to be a tech geek? No, of course not. At the same time, if you're still carrying around a DayTimer® like my 90+-year-old mentor, you may be communicating to your clients and prospects that you're unwilling to adapt, change and/or grow.

Seth sums up our current situation nicely: I think we've long passed the point where an active professional can simply choose to not understand how tech works. You're a user or you're being used. Best to know which.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at You can all so connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, SVP of Professional Development, RAB