Imagine that you’ve just met the love of your life. Your soul mate. The one person, of all the people in the world, that you can actually see yourself growing old with. Everything is going great until your love pulls out their cell phone. To your horror, it is not a smart phone. It’s not even a blackberry. It’s a Nokia flip phone, circa 2000. You instantly shift into panic mode. You begin to question your own judgement, wondering how it is that you could be attracted to someone who uses such out of date technology. The worst part is, they don’t even seem to be ashamed.
Through a combination of Pollyanna optimism and self-delusion, you manage to convince yourself that your love isn’t really behind the times. He/She is simply being ironic. They are using their phone to comment on the absurdity of living in a society where people trade in phones even when the old ones are still perfectly good. Before you know it, you are just as in love with him/her as ever.
Then one day, you and your love decide to go for a jog in the park. Just as you are getting ready to activate the Nike Plus app on your iPhone, your love pulls out a Sony Walkman. There isn’t even an ounce of irony in your love’s face as he/she slips an audiotape into the Walkman and hits the “play” button.
It’s official. Your love isn’t being ironic. He/she is not making any kind of sweeping social commentary. Your love is (gasp) a slow adopter of technology.
Now you have a big decision to make. Are you going to stay with your love, despite this giant character flaw, or is this a deal breaker for you? No one will blame you if you decide to cut and run. Being in a relationship with a slow adopter of technology can be very difficult. It’s a hard life and it’s not for everybody.
If you do decide, however, that you want to continue the relationship, here are a few things you can do to make life a little easier.
1. Make all travel arrangements yourself.
Your slow technology adopter will want to take care of the travel arrangements. They will tell you that they know a good travel agent. They will pull out maps with all the routes highlighted. You will want to appease them to make them happy. Don’t do it! You’ll only end up regretting it later.
2. Don’t judge.
No one likes to be judged so don’t do it. Instead, try to put yourself in your slow adopter’s shoes. Imagine what it must feel like for them to have to go through the world as they are. Society can be very hard on slow technology adopters. Cut them some slack.
3. Slowly introduce your slow adopter to the latest technology.
Remember, your slow adopter got to be where they are today because they move slowly. You’re not going to want to buy them the latest Android phone or Iphone right away. Instead, start with something older, from a few years back. Once they’ve mastered that technology, you can ease them into something a little newer. Remember, pacing is key. Too much too fast can actually do more damage than good. Use your best judgement when deciding what technologies to introduce when. You know your slow adopter better than anyone else.
4. Finally, be patient.
You’re slow adopter might reach out for help. They know they have a problem. They will likely turn to you to help fix it. Don’t laugh at them or push them away. Be there for them. Guide them through the world of technology. This is your chance to be their teacher, take it as a challenge.