Technology scares and intimidates me in a very narrow and selfish way. Mostly, that I am not good at it.
It is my belief that people are thoroughly self-focused, and that traces of selfishness subconsciously underscore all of their arguments. I have been railing against the valuation of technology above humanities (or humanity – sorry, still a little prickly) for a while, and it’s time I came clean. It’s because I, personally, am scared of losing.
That fear makes sense if you know me.
I have been late to everything technologically related, and I don’t really know how to use my devices. My laptop is gross and I treat it poorly (I’m bad at physical objects, let’s not make this a moral issue.) On the personal level, I don’t know how to set up internet or find new sites or do anything cool or interesting. I can’t even photoshop.
On the cultural level, I’m just as bad. I’ve been late to Uber and Twitter and apps and games. I don’t maximize my efficiency, largely because I am not made to be efficient. I have fairly severe ADD that I alternatively hate and yield to completely. And, in what may be related, I have a deep-seated laziness and serious dependency on routines. I walk the exact same way to work, to a friends, from here to there because if I don’t, I will get lost.
I am not a math or science person, and suddenly, there is a beautiful and extremely profitable world from which I am shut out. Sucks that I work great with kids and words – I am the wrong kind of smart for flexible well-paid hours and beer at lunch. That shrugging exclusion sucks. It makes me feel weak, sad, and angry, and just because the last part is the least sympathetic doesn’t make it less true.
I am on the wrong side of the mirror here. I am social and fun and a damned good teacher and a damned decent writer but I am really bad at math and science and technical thinking and details. It also pisses me off that the world quietly assumes this is a flaw, a fault I can (and should) solve through classes, switched majors, some late night grinding or such to change the essential wiring of myself. No. I am stubbornly and historically bad at details and numbers at a serious and personal level.
It can make you feel lost. Imagine being shut out of a world on the basis of your skill set and being tacitly told, with all the STEM articles and jobs soaring towards six figures, and I get it, that makes sense by the numbers. That’s fair. But spare me some sympathy. If I were as good at other skills as I were at my own, I’d be rich.
I make so much less than a parallel mind.
Here is what I ask then, for the future shapers of the world. Please don’t forget or scorn those of us who simply don’t get it. When you can, afford us some pity for our frustrated spite. Maybe for once in history, a trickle-down will work and I’ll make a livable salary thanks to the largess of my app-making overlords. But if I don’t, and if a technocratic elite grows and thrives in a parasitic, circle-jerk of billion-dollar valuations for nonsense, please don’t look down on me for being a different, less profitable type of idiot.
Sorry if that was rough. Anxiety makes me write ugly.