Why technology can be hard

Blog Post

June we had an extended weekend away down in Melbourne with the kids.

I don’t know much about footy, but there was no argument when I suggested that the big bloke up the back playing goal defence for Brisbane had a good game. Despite his best efforts, Hawthorn won and I could sing “Cheer Cheer the Brown and the Gold”

Every urban trip for us and the kids means exposure to things that are new and different. Much of this was technology related. Sometimes it was old tech, used in a new and different way.

We saw
– Vending machines for safety vests near a worksite
– Digital ticketing for everything!
– Swipe and go donations at St Patrick’s cathedral. Yes the plate still did a lap but more money came in via the electronic set up at the back of the church.
– Online Pay ID offered by a wheelchair bound non verbal street vendor of the Big Issue
– Till free point of sale technology in retail outlets. A little hand held device allowed for products to be scanned and card payment receipted at any spot in the shop.

New technology can be frightening and exciting.

Why is new tech hard?

It can give us a feeling of being out of control
This is more relevant for adults than kids, as kids are quite often out of their comfort zone. When you work in ag, and lots of things are totally out of your control, it is nice to hold onto the little familiar things and to do them with ease.

We have to learn and that means we have to think
The constant learning and relearning is exhausting. It is very difficult to do if we are tired. You may not feel tired, but if it has been months since your last weekend away and over a year since your last holiday, you probably are.

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion
Waiting for our train in Wagga we visited the rail museum. In a cabinet I found the same train tickets from our local station in Sydney. This brought back a very special memory of my mother. The Mullet wore a 2013 Hawthorn premiership t-shirt to the footy. Holding on to the way things were helps us hold on to those memories. Old things sometimes remind us of previous hard earned victories, achievements and milestones. Replacing a old asset with a new one might actually feel like these things are being eroded.

Wanting to hold on to old technology, old ways of doing things and old machinery can be a way of feeling connected to positive experiences of the past. This is okay and normal. Just be conscious of it and try not to let it hold you back from good investments and buying new clothes without holes.

Technology might give you a bing or a blip, but the reward that comes from manual or hands on tasks often gives as a longer lasting sense of satisfaction
Some of this is related to how our brains work. We are geared to move, touch, connect with people, laugh and play. Technology often eliminates the best of these things and this causes stress. For a simple reminder of what makes our brains tick,  have a look at this infographic.

How can we make it easier?
1. Allow yourself to be incompetent
It’s okay not to be good at things. Recognise the importance of adding “yet” onto our self talk. eg I am not good at this YET. This is not easy YET. You know how to do hard things, you have learnt hard things before, asking someone to show you something is fine and diving into the zone of uncomfortable is important.

2. Pace and plan tech related change
Taking on too much tech, too soon, can result in overwhelm. Pace implementation and get advice from a professional or an experienced peer on how and what is going to make the biggest difference in your farm business. In Farm Office Plus I guide you through the process of implementing change in your farm business and we will talk through the best tech options in our live sessions.

3. Take a holiday
Tired brains don’t learn well. This is the reason why school and university holidays persist, despite so many other reasons for them not to. Giving yourself a break from the farm is so important for lots of reasons, managing technological change overload is just one of them.

Hope this helps

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