Tom Madden, Founder & CEO, TransMedia Group
My tech-minded wife wants me to buy a car with the latest technology that automatically puts on the brakes if someone suddenly steps out in front. And if I’m not up to steering, it will steer by itself.
After all, I’m not getting any younger she seems to be intimating like a car horn constantly honking at me to pay attention to my birth date.
But when I drive, I’m fully alert, I tell her, at least I feel like I’m ready to instantly swerve out of harm’s way from whatever danger leaps out at me on a busy thoroughfare.
Still, she also wants me to have a car that warns if I’m crossing a median strip or getting too close to another vehicle in case my attention drifts.
Attention? Do I still have attention while I’m not getting any younger?
Yes, I do!
Still, while I’m all for safety, I’m dead set against age discrimination and technology is becoming a barometer of it even for alert people like me who are quantifiably not getting any younger.
Ahh the blessings of technology for those of us living on a fixed age com.
Today I fired back at my wife demanding we look for an AI technology that provides protection while we’re walking, something akin to a rear-view mirror in our minds while on foot.
Those of us who are not getting any younger need such technology as we’re always looking ahead and can’t very well see what’s behind us like we can when we’re driving.
So, where’s that technology? For now, I’ll just mount rear-view mirrors on my sunglasses.
After all, when you’re not getting any younger, you don’t want any surprises.
And surprise! I have a birthday straight ahead, coming up next month, heading straight for me like a speeding bullet.
Hang on, I think I’ll make U-turn.
And for those of you who think technology solves all problems, look at last week’s devastating report from the National Center for Education Statistics that gave tech a D-.
Reading and math scores for about 15,000 US 9-year-olds tested this year were sharply lower than scores for children of the same age tested before the pandemic.
Math scores fell for the first time on record, while reading scores suffered their biggest drop in 30 years.
Why? The pandemic-driven shift to virtual schooling has been a disaster. The same videoconferencing systems that successfully propped up the economy were no substitute for traditional face-to-face learning.
But Emily Oster, professor of economics at Brown University and creator of the COVID School Data Hub, believes that no amount of training or investment in virtual education would make it an adequate replacement for an in-person classroom.
So don’t think technology always wins! Remember the dot-com bubble precipitating the dot-com bust in 2001? Well, today we might be in a tech bubble. So, stay technologically alert, but not all wrapped up in it. And don’t bet the house . . . or car!
About the Author: When not racing against technology, Tom Madden is writing books, his latest WORDSHINE MAN is about how to make your writing more inviting. He’s also founder and CEO of TransMedia Group, a public relations firm serving clients worldwide since 1981.