See Full Story
They are comfortable with gadgets, yet shudder sometimes as the cell phone rings. This group -- primarily male and in their late 20s -- is called the "Ambivalent Networkers" in a study released Wednesday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Pew found this group notable because its members have lived with the Internet and other technologies for much of their lives. In the study, Pew examined American adults' gadgets and services, their activities and their attitudes toward technology.
Interesting story.... Naturally I found myself trying to figure out how I related to the findings.
- I am lots older than the groups mentioned (60+)
- I have worked with technology most of my life (computer/electronics repair, electronics design, software development, technology management, technology sales/marketing, systems support and web development)
- My jobs have required 'networking' and coordinating with small to very large groups (from customers and peers as a consultant to 23 companies from 11 different countries as a 'project coordinator' which basically meant herding a whole bunch of cats i.e. project managers toward completion of multi-million dollar systems)
- currently I research, study, test, use new technology in the course of IT consulting for small to medium size companies (i.e. my job requires me to be conversant with legacy to cutting edge tech and able to assess paradigm shifts in context with my client's business requirements - in simple terms I am expected to be able to advise whether technology can offer a business advantage and be cost-effective)
In many respects I would seem to be an ideal candidate to be an 'early adopter' of products such as smart phones, social networking (Facebook, etc.)and other cutting edge (behind bleeding edge but well in advance of the crowd) tech.
In practice, I don't own a smart phone, restrict my cell number to a limited number of key clients (and family), have a Facebook account but rarely use it, and use Twitter only for testing and familiarization.
This seems to indicate that I am a Luddite in the world of new tech. I would suggest that instead it reflects my opinion that most social networking is a source of questionable information and therefore a poor return on my time investment. (If I were an opinion pollster or doing marketing research my evaluation would reverse... When doing marketing research I love the resource this tech offers.)
However, since the bulk of my work revolves around 'hard data' I prefer to use time I would 'waste' on social networking tech to instead do direct research of items and issues in an attempt to verify the sources and separate the 'wheat from the chaff'.
The Web is an incredible resource allowing me to conveniently do far more research in better detail than a similar amount of time invested in traditional resources such as libraries. Unfortunately, the level of 'noise' (useless, inaccurate, unsupported opinion, 'urban legends', etc.) has increased exponentially. Useful tools to filter this 'noise' are still in their infancy.
I guess the bottom line is that time is my most valuable resource and time spent adding my own trivia to the flood is both a waste of my time and an imposition on those who receive it.
Gosh, and look who just sent 10 minutes of his valuable time offering this comment. Actually, the value I assign to posts such as this is the discipline and clarification of my thinking provided by having to write it down.
I look forward to seeing what others take on this is.
Oh, and if anyone knows or develops a tool to 'evaluate' info including email against Snopes, Wikiopedia, etc. and provide an urban legend or viral BS cautionary flag I would be forever impressed and your devoted follower. (Well, impressed and an enthusiastic supporter at least.)