Jarrett’s Societal Musings 1: “Tech Savvy”

Shower Thought (literally): being “tech savvy” never means the same thing for two different people, and are people who refer to themselves as “not very tech savvy” holding themselves back?

In a world full of technology, run by technology, even consumed by technology, how are people still “not very tech savvy”? Tech savvy, by definition, means “well informed about or proficient in the use of modern technology, especially computers.” By this standard, I’d venture to guess that a majority of people who refer to themselves as “not tech savvy”, are actually tech savvy. I don’t want this blog post to be all about the incorrect use of a saying (no matter how indescribably misused it is), yet i want to highlight the idea that there are tons of people who are keeping up with the world, yet think they aren’t.

Just because someone doesn’t know what a GTX 1080 is, or what the current fastest processor is, or even what the components of their computer are, doesn’t mean they are not “tech savvy”. Imagine a world where everyone who called themselves “not tech savvy” actually wasn’t proficient in the use of modern technology. In this world, only the nerdiest of the nerds are able to use their macbook to write a paper, or watch a funny YouTube video, everyone else just has to wait until they are tech savvy enough to do what the tech savvy are doing. It may seem (it does to me at least) as if I’m harping on the phrase “tech savvy” too much, and i am. But the underlying point to all of this is to understand that if you have a Facebook, or an Instagram, or an iPhone, or a twitter, or a MacBook, chances are, you are tech savvy.

We must eliminate this line we have drawn between “tech comfortable” and “tech savvy”. I’d like to reference a few articles to talk more about this. Firstly: http://www.techbundle.com/tech-comfortable-not-tech-savvy/

This article about a young guy being hired by a company and getting tasked with a job that is out of his realm (i.e. Setting up an entire router system for a company, something I couldn’t do if i tried), and showing that his failure at this level of technology disproves that “millennials” are not tech savvy, just tech comfortable.

“Having a Driver’s License Doesn’t Make You a Mechanic”


This statement in reference to this topic makes me want to scream “NO” from the rooftops a million times. The article references many businesses making the “fatal” mistake of hiring millennials to do complex technological tasks, when in reality their fatal mistake was hiring an untrained person to do the wrong job. Let’s stop generalizing tech savvy people as people who can hack the mainframe and steal all of those secret government documents. And start saying that being tech comfortable is being tech savvy and vice versa. If we continue to say that being tech comfortable is bad, then what are we supposed to do with all the 50+ year old people who actually aren’t tech comfortable. Maybe, we shouldn’t assume someone who doesn’t know how to set up a company-wide network and router system is automatically not tech savvy.

The other article I’d like to talk about is a wikihow on how to become tech savvy (tip, never go on wikihow, just don’t, please): http://www.wikihow.com/Become-Tech-Savvy

First, it tells people to start using google? Then it says to read about computers? Then it says to “be knowledgeable in many fields”??? It continues by saying “become an expert” and telling people to get antivirus. Finally telling people to “learn to program” and USE LINUX OR UNIX???? WHAT???? I’m going to stop there and forego the last two steps. Maybe this is just a good example of how awful wikihow is and nothing more, but it still adds to my point, no one has the same definition of tech savvy, and for the most part, everyone has a different definition of tech savvy.

To end my harping on the phrase tech savvy, and to tie it all together in a somewhat coherent way, ill leave it at this. We can’t continue to let people believe they are all behind the times, instead, let’s embrace our tech savviness and use our computers in a “proficient” way.

My name is Jarrett Azar and I am a first-year student at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I love sports, computers, and politics.

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