Friday, August 5, 2011

Faded Scars

I always tease people I meet at genealogical conferences by telling them that I'm a luddite. Not everyone knows what exactly that is, but basically, it's someone who isn't interested in technology or fears the effects of technology on their lives. You can look it up on Wikipedia (I figured out what a "wiki" is last week). Some people are cutting edge adopters. They are always the people waiting in long lines to get the latest version of this software or that phone or some other fancy new gadget. Others are bleeding edge adopters; they're getting the materials hot off the manufacturing line or online or whereever people go to get technology that hasn't been released to the general public yet. I always say I'm a faded scar adopter. After the technology has been cut, and bled, and following a few years of recovery (or use, to work out the kinks), then, maybe, I'll think about adopting it for my own use. A faded scar adopter.

While I was in academia, I had to be up on the latest and greatest, all these fancy things that would "make life easier." It was a job necessity to keep up with whatever new thing the university was using, like the Internet back in 1993, or some new online software package to keep track of grades. Since leaving the Ivory Tower, I've let myself lapse into being a grumpy reluctant technology user. I've never wanted to be a techie, but in genealogy, like in academia, it seems that being up on the latest and greatest is a prerequisite. Granted, I do use a computer, and I have a website (see, but in general, someone has to convince me that using this latest software or signing up for this latest service is a necessity for my life and my business. That it WILL actually make my life easier, and allow me to do my job better.

I guess it might be best to say that I'm not against all technology, but I do not want to use technology for technology's sake. I want to use tools that the development of technology makes available to me, not be used by the technology itself. I have enough demands on my time that I don't have time to waste playing with the "latest and greatest." If a technology has a steep learning curve, or is more work to use than I can derive a benefit from, then, no thanks, I'll pass. This blog (I learned what a blog is last week, too) is for me to talk about the technology that I may have been sceptical of at first, but am convinced of it's benefit to me and my business. Hopefully, this isn't just a big waste of my time, like some other technology that I can name.

We'll see how it goes, and I'll let you know what I learn, because you really can learn something new every day!


  1. I share your philosophy on adopting technology. Another benefit is also that it is cheaper when you wait.

  2. I find I am like you...I tend to stand back and observe for awhile before I dive in. :-)
    Lost all my data once trying to back up in the 'cloud'. I am sure it was user error; but I won't be trying it again soon. I'll just stick to my jump drives :-)
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  3. There's nothing wrong with adopting a wait-and-see approach. As for this blog being a waste of money is on "no." I just discovered it today but I look forward to reading more.