Techie Day: Novelty to Necessity 

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Technology and its impact on our day to day lives continues to evolve- and for a bunch of tech-loving, Instagramming, Podcasting, Alexa-asking marketers- it’s fascinating. October 3rd celebrates all things tech with “Techie Day,” one-day out of the year that was initially intended to educate high-schoolers in the 1990’s about working in technology. 

Now, this special day pays tribute to all those who ward off the “spinning wheel of death,” who fight the black screen blues, those who know the difference between the best gadgets and something that’s likely to end up in your junk drawer, and our pals who will likely tell you to “try turning it off then turning it on again,” tech heroes like our friends and clients at iTechshark. Techie friends, we salute you. 

In honor of a day that literally powers on the rest of the year, we asked our team to share a bit about how tech has impacted their lives and some of the ways they’ve noted tech’s evolution across the years.

What’s your first memorable tech experience?

Alicia: My first memorable tech experience is during second grade. Our school just installed the new Macintosh and all of us were supposed to take a class. I remember distinctly walking in and was just AMAZED by the machine.

Jen: Creating on Quark on a huge PC! 

Becky: As a seven or eight-year-old, remember visiting the computer lab at SIUE where my mom worked and logging on to Yahoo! Browsing and using the chat rooms. A/S/L wasn’t always creepy… we would talk to other kids across the world and I remember being in awe of the technology! 

Allison: I remember teaching my dad how to save a contact on his flip phone. It was a lot of button pressing to get the right letter. I am so thankful smartphones have evolved to what they are. It has certainly made things a lot easier! Technology has come a long way. 

Genevieve: My grade school best friend Becky and I playing a Tetris-like game (maybe it was Tetris?!) on her new Apple computer. I just remember the computer was short, stocky and beige. 

Tell us a little story about the first piece of tech you can remember owning?

Jen: My parents bought me the iMac desktop with the bright neon blue back for school! I felt like I had won the lottery! 

Becky: I remember in third grade all of my friends and I got CD players and Walkmans for Christmas plus a handful of CDs. That was kind of a turning point for me creating “Who I Was” and choosing the music I wanted to listen to in my own room. I have a picture of me sitting on the living room floor Christmas morning with awkwardly curled bangs from the Christmas pageant the night before listening to Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill. 

Alicia: The first piece of tech I've owned was the Nokia 3310 phone. I really wanted it so I could play Snake! Ha. I was pretty much the last kid in school to get a phone and I've been begging my parents for one. The impetus was when my parents couldn't get hold of me that they'd be late to pick me up from school. It was getting so dark and I was literally the last kid. I remember being so scared and I walked to the closest gas station which was a mile to try calling my parents. When I got there, I realized I had no coins to call and walked back. Thankfully when I returned to school, my parents were already there but they were freaking out because they couldn't find me. Long story short, they didn't question and bought me a phone right away!

DeAnn: My parents gave me a “bag” phone my junior year of college for emergencies.  I was commuting between work and school in an old Fiat so the potential was high for a roadside car emergency. 

Allison: The first tech I actually owned was a ancient desktop computer given to me by Make A Wish foundation. I don't remember much from that time, but my mom said it was how I learned my colors and numbers in the early 2000s. The computer didn't last very long but the desk certainly did. The computer helped me to be the (kinda) tech-savvy gal I am today.

What’s your favorite piece of tech that you own now?

Alicia: My favorite tech I own right now has to be my iPhone. Let's be real!

Allison: My favorite tech I own now is easily my Macbook Air. It's light and easy to carry around. I am on it every day with my online classes. An easily portable laptop is essential when you're a college student with online classes. It's your portal to a great education! 

DeAnn: iPhone

Jen: iPhone and MacBook Pro are tied for me!

Genevieve: iPhone and Macbook Air

How does technology shape your day?

Alicia: Tech has definitely allowed me to maintain relationships all over the world. With my parents living in Malaysia and my college friends living all over the world, it has helped me feel connected to them on a daily basis.

Jen: I would be LOST without it. (Literally - I use it for navigating to clients + our agency exists because of it!)

Allison: Tech impacts my day by allowing me to interact. My laptop and phone are one of the first things I use in a day. It's how I wake up, keep connected, look at recipes, and I plan my schedule through my devices. My technology is essential to living an organized, productive life. 

Becky: Because I’m able to plug in and work from practically anywhere, tech has given me the freedom to be able to work from home some days and spend more time with my family while skipping a commute. From dressing for the weather to following my friends and family’s vacations across the globe to watching eerily satisfying ASMR videos before bed, I’m always using tech.

What’s one piece of tech you can’t live without?

Jen: iPhone

DeAnn: My iPhone.

Genevieve: My iPhone

Becky: Probably my iPhone. It’s with me always, and unlike my debit card, I’ve never lost it. 

What's one way you wish you could improve your relationship with technology? 

Becky: I’d definitely like to remind myself to set it aside more - as a mom I’m always thinking about capturing the memories… I could improve my relationship with tech by segmenting my day to include “on time” and “off time.” I’m getting better at that. 

Alicia: I've been learning to be more mindful of using my technology in front of my kids. It's easy to get carried away scrolling, emailing and texting with folks. I think being more present with my current surroundings will reduce my anxiety levels.

Jen: Setting more boundaries with my iPhone.

Allison: I wish I could learn how to utilize in a way that's less time-consuming. I love tech. With each iOS update that comes out, I find myself marveled by the new updates Apple can create. However, my screen time is increasing with each day. I feel if I can learn more about my technology, where I spend less time searching: then I reach the perfect balance of using my phone in a time-efficient manner.

DeAnn: I wish I was better about separating myself from it and taking a “tech” break.  Not unlike many people, it’s difficult to ignore messages regardless of what time they show up.

Genevieve: Be more intentional about my iPhone usage and not just pick it up aimlessly all the time, like when I'm standing in the checkout aisle.

For many, we start and end our day with technology. From emails in bed to hot tea and streaming your favorite shows on the couch, tech is the ever-present sidekick of our day. Watching the evolution of gadgetry and the sociological shift of technology from a novelty to necessity has been the hallmark of our generation.