Sunday, May 9, 2010

Change is constant

"Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road." - Stewart Brand

If you’ve been following at all, you know that this blog was a discussion of technology: past technology, past predictions of technology, present technologies and future technologies. Oftentimes one post would include not one, not two, but all of these things. A discussion of cell phones began with telegraphs, evolved to rotary phones, took a detour through “futuristic cell phones of the past” and eventually ended up at blackberries; this is the formula many of my posts followed.

Why did I approach topics this way? What did it teach me?

It’s simple, really: nothing lasts forever.

Today’s technological advances are often tomorrow’s stone age devices. Remember Windows Vista? And how that was around for oh, I don’t know, 2 seconds? (In case you haven’t picked up on this, I exaggerate things. It’s for effect) How about the original iPod? If you still have one of those things, you might as well use a Walkman.

Things change. Personally, I think it’s scary.

I’m a communication major with a focus in public relations. Public relations, like many other concentrations, is constantly evolving due to changes in the field. The difference with public relations today, is, that social media has been adapted by PR pros (and aspiring pros like me) as our own. Twitter, linkedin, blogs, foursquare: PR toys.

As a young PR student, I’m worried. Or, as I like to say, "optimistically aware." Should I bother with these “toys?” Should I learn them, become a pro at them, earn the title of “guru” and garner the respect of my peers….for a year? Will the industry still be using twitter when I graduate? Or will I have experience in a useless tool? If someone has some insider info on that one, I would greatly appreciate it.

My point is we don’t know. We don’t know who will invent what and when. The social media tool of the future may already have been invented, may be in use right now, but it’s not widespread. Facebook and Twitter didn’t take off overnight. So what if it’s out there, waiting for me to use it, and I’ve got no clue it exists? It’s weird to think about, but it’s very possible.

I know that this occurs in almost every field of study: every day has the possibility of creating a new theory, a new tool, a new way of thinking that can revolutionize the way things work. But I’m in PR, so that’s what I worry about.

All I can say is learn to adapt. That’s what I’ve learned: to be open to learning. I know. It sounds really, really simple. And it is—somebody just needs to let you in on the secret simplicity of success.

So for now I’ll tweet, I’ll keep blogging, I’ll eventually figure out how to use foursquare and I’ll continue to change the privacy settings on my facebook until it hardly exists at all.

Or maybe I won’t—but that’s for tomorrow to tell me.

Happy Sunday, & Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom and to all other Moms.

1 comment:

  1. Kelly,

    These are all important questions - and as you point out, not unique to your field.

    The inside joke in the IT world 15 years ago was no one could get a gig as a website designer at a big company because their HR departments mandated a minimum of 10 years experience with technologies that were less than 3 years old...

    Beyond your conclusion to keep learning and remain flexible, I would recommend never losing your focus on the fundamentals of your field. It's as true in business as it is in sports. You may get lucky and become a star with the right tool at the right time, but the players that have lasting careers are the ones who are rock solid in the fundamentals, and use new tools as they come into the game to raise their skills to superstar levels.

    Great post. Keep 'em coming.