Last week, I was listening to several lawyers complain about how hard it was to convince new associates to learn the technology everyone else in the firm had been using for years. From embracing dictation to using books instead of online tools, newbies “just didn’t get it” according the the group of senior attorneys.
As I tried to explain to them that the technology they utilized, though pretty basic, wasn’t easier to use for someone unfamiliar with it, I struggled to find a good example. Today, I finally found one in the unlikeliest of places: an article by a teenager who gave up his iPod for a week and replaced it with his father’s 25-year-old Sony Walkman.
The article is hilarious at times, but highlights just how older, “simpler” technology isn’t actually easier to use for people unaccustomed to it. Some of the best quotes:
My dad had told me it was the iPod of its day. He had told me it was big, but I hadn’t realised he meant THAT big. It was the size of a small book.
It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette.
Personally, I’m relieved I live in the digital age, with bigger choice, more functions and smaller devices. I’m relieved that the majority of technological advancement happened before I was born, as I can’t imagine having to use such basic equipment every day.