Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to NOT be a Rotary Phone

Have you ever made that rolling down the window motion at anyone under 15? Have you ever turned to a teenager and told them to get the phone book? What about those pictures from Christmas? Ask your nephew if he has gotten them developed, see what kind of look he gives you.

An article came out yesterday titled Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know and it really got me thinking. Not really about babies born in 2011 and what they will never know, but about babies born in 2011 and what they WILL know.  Assuming they go to college and graduate in four years, they will be entering the workplace in 2033.  They will have never lived without the internet, never done a research project without Google, always had a Facebook account and have had cell phone since they were 6. Paper will be obsolete to them. MY paper day planner will make me a dinosaur to them.

I consider myself a pretty tech savvy woman. (I have a Mac Book Pro, okay?!) I help businesses learn how to use social media, so I have to stay on top of trends more than your average joe. But thinking about those 6th graders with their iPhones and their Twitter accounts makes me feel so...old and obsolete. They know about things that I can't even list on here because I have no idea they exist! They have never had to really learn to use an iPhone, or a computer or Facebook. They just KNOW.

So, what do I do? How do I keep my job and my business safe from these iPad-using, ebill-paying kids who have will never have to use a rotary phone? So glad you asked, I have a few ideas:

1)Stay on top of trends and adopt the ones that make sense for your business and your clients- Not every gadget, social media site, software, hardware, etc is going to make sense for every business. Take the time to know what is out there, but only use what is efficient and effective for growing your business and serving your clients.

2)Keep what works for you- I use a paper day timer. Thats right, I said it. I know it doesn't make me look cool and sometimes it makes me look downright out of date, but it works for me. I had to ask myself, would I rather look cool or have the peace of mind that comes with doing what works for me? Cool never wins.

3)Keep an open mind- As your business evolves, what works for you may evolve too. I used to scoff at LinkedIn Groups. Until I got a call from someone who had read my blog on there and needed my services and then I got another call and another... Somethings may work better than you think they will, if only you would give them a fair chance. If they work, great! If not, at least you tried.

So, to wrap up: try new things, explore new technologies, stay on top of trends and do what works for you. Make THAT your 2011 resolution!



  1. To take it a step further, by 2033 those kids might be asking you, "What were Facebook and Google?"

  2. Sarah- Very, VERY true! I would be shocked if either of those are still around.

    Mike, Jen and Graydon- Thanks!

  3. Great article. Advances in technology are affecting everything - not just "what's in" or "what's the latest useless techie device". These kids may also not know what a travel agent is - or a newspaper. They may never learn how to write a check, fill out a deposit slip, or how to write and mail a letter. Weird to think of all the things that they will miss - and what us old people may never understand. And now i have to get back to answering mail - where did i leave my email machine?

  4. Yes, yes... I admit it! I AM old! It is amazing to think of the things that today’s children will never know about or even recognize. The perfect example was when Rebekah, (my 6 year old niece) saw an old rotary phone at a craft/antique store and promptly asked my mother, "What is that?”
    Keeping up is difficult. Things change at an alarming and exciting rate. I hope that my association with people like you, and your up and coming business, will assist me in my attempt to try new things! Nice article!