Among the Luddites

Ned Ludd Lives

Ned Ludd Lives!

Once in a while the term Luddite enters the conversation. We who presume ourselves to be on the cutting edge all things social and techie are occasionally floored by a remark or observation from a Luddite – or neo-luddite, or as I referred to them in a 2010 post, Luddite 2.0, a term coined my friend and deep thinker, Bill Wendel.  I have worked hard  since I wrote that post to avoid the Luddite mantle, and I can hold my own with most of the Gen-X, Y, Z or whatever Gen folks I encounter, because, as Brian Solis points out  Generation-C transcends age.  And that C is about being Connected.

TechCamp Memphis (5/12/2010) featured some of the area’s best minds in  social media, internet marketing and strategy, and an array of developer specialties.  I will admit that the developer stuff is way beyond me, but a big part of being Generation- C is having a good handle on just how much you want to be connected.     One attendee told me that her co-workers are not only not “connected”, but they don’t do very well un-connected either. “Most of them don’t know how to create a folder in Windows to put their files into.”  I wondered later if she was talking about electronic files or paper files.  I see that type of thing in my business a lot: “No, I don’t have a scanner; I’ll just bring you the contract.”  These are probably the same folks who fear the internet because someone might grab their private information; who find it easier to say NO to social media, Google, and in some cases email, rather than looking into how those things could possibly enhance their lives and make lots of things easier for them.  Having adopted the use of the telephone, they still carry pagers. Luddites 2.0.

Remember studying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Sociology 101?  Look at how closely the upper 2 levels (and possibly 3) of the pyramid reflect what most of us are accomplishing, in a large part, online today through being connected.


Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

I am not saying that’s good or bad, but think about it.  Once you are there can you go back?  Can you give up that connection?  Do you see a day when technology will evolve to the point that you will draw a line in the sand and say, “I’m a Luddite now.”?

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