When The Kids Actually Know Everything And We Don't
When The Kids Actually Know Everything And We Don’t
If my memory serves me, the last time I was employed full time as a marketing manager for a software company was in the stone age. It was a small company that sold and supported fiduciary accounting and income tax software to banks and law firms. This was not a glamorous field.
We somehow conducted business without the use of the internet, cell phones, or GPS. Our computers ran on DOS using 5 1/4" floppy disks that we used to copy files that would update our customers’ software in the field. We sent them these disks via UPS or US Mail. We also regularly used a FAX machine. I remember transitioning to the use of 3 1/4" disks which were more durable for shipping being encased in hard plastic. Our clients were some of the largest banks in New Jersey and the top law firms in the world.
Prior to working for the software company, I sold banking automation equipment for NCR Corporation to the largest banks in New Jersey when I graduated college with a degree in marketing. NCR put me through an intensive, 6 month training program where I learned about selling and technology. It was 1985.
My children are 19 and 21 years old which technically makes them adults. They grew up in the digital age and never understood how I struggled with technology especially given my “technical” background. Just about everyone I know who is over the age of 50 is an immigrant to the digital world and relies on their native children to help them navigate our technology driven society.
I started writing on Medium in September, 2017. My 21 year old son was mildly impressed. He recently recommended I read “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk so I could learn about building my personal brand using my work on Medium as a starting point. I read the book and learned about how to use all manner of technology that I barely understood to build my “brand” on the internet. It sounded exciting so I decided I would build a website. I did have experience using Facebook and Instagram like most 50 somethings.
My son steered me to Squarespace.com where I could start a process that might as well have been nuclear physics for me. I powered through the foreign nature of what I was doing and stuck with it. My son did a great job of not stepping in every time I got lost which was regularly. Occasionally, he would pop into my office to rescue me with a few lightning speed mouse clicks and key strokes.
The last time I was complaining that my brain was going to explode from stretching it to its technological limits, his response was “Mom, it’s not that hard!”
He runs a social media marketing business in his spare time, and works full time in a computer numeric controlled machine shop. He suggested I write this story because he thought it would be very relatable to “other old idiots”. I am 55.