One of the most desperate looks in the world is that of the face of any senior buying a new car and staring at the center console. If you haven't kept up in the last 5 years with the world of information technology, be assured any new car will have more boobie traps than a war zone village. If you drive, tech savvy is not an option. Just your nav system has more computing power than the early moon shots. The Bluetooth phone links are Star Wars quality. Information systems on everything from tire pressure to oil levels need a careful understanding or you might blow up with a flat tire.
And we are on the verge of the Internet of things. Appliances, garage doors, phones and maybe necklaces are all being linked and if your cell phone is a mystery package, your house could become the neighbourhood disaster.
Entertainment systems can Twitter you directly to the President. Facebook and its brethren expose you to the world and the world often replies with some very strange insights. Grandchildren are available through media but almost invisible for a conversation. All information is available all the time. Some of your best tales and war stories would be checked while you're talking and blown out of the water with facts. Can't navigate Wikipedia? You are as isolated as a person on a desert island.
The other side of the coin is the fantastic world of information, ideas and capabilities that sits at your finger tips. Learning all of these is fairly easy if you have a grand child close by, to explain it all step by step. The secret is to get engaged in the learning now before the technology gets so stretched out its distance from you as your Jurassic relatives. Community centres, community colleges, and online tutorials make the whole world of tech savvy easily available. Don't miss out on the amazing world of technology waiting for you.
Uber jobs, gig-like opportunities, flex skills and mobility are becoming the backbone of the economy and only civil servants and a shrinking cohort of low skill manufacturing jobs offer long term wages and benefits. Searching for these legacy jobs makes little sense as the definition of the work force changes and government crowds further and further into the business of benefits provision that was once the responsibility of employers.
As packages of benefits including health, retirement and paid vacation can add 30% more to labour costs, any employer competing with economies that don't provide these is toast. So, we need to help our young people develop the attitudes, skills and behaviours that will allow them to be fully active and happy participants in this new social and economic model. Wishing for the past only leads to disappointment.
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