Hey Mom, I’m Digitally Smarter Now

As I sit here making final reflections about the final class of my MBA program, I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I have learnt without feeling like I was studying. You see, in terms of adopting technology, I’ve mostly ended up in the late majority category – the kind that adopts technology only if it’s been out for a while – as can be seen in the product adoption cycle below. This has mostly been the case because yes I’m oddly risk averse when it comes to technology but mostly because I didn’t understand the technology so I couldn’t see how its extent could truly improve my life. 

At home I’ve been endlessly teased about not wanting to jump at trying out new technologies – by my younger brother and even my Mom! I mean, it took me time to see and learn from others’ experiences before I made choices. Here are some privileged examples – but it happened with letting go of my Blackberry wistfully (really, what was I thinking?), shifting from Windows to the Mac OS, getting a smartwatch or even something basic like using PayPal (again, what was I afraid of here?!)! Case in point, I’m still not on TikTok. In addition, speaking the language of tech was far outside my comfort zone. I wanted to change that. 

I started this course with the hope and intention to get comfortable with the possibilities that arose through emerging technology and overall digital transformation. And boy, thanks to Prof. Kane and my classmates, did I get comfortable with this! 

I’ve surprised myself with the learnings I’m taking away from this class and how much more comfortable I am with sharing my opinions on emerging tech. As strange as the format initially was, I have come to absolutely love it – because our animated discussions in class would continue across media from blogging to tweets to sharing personal experiences. Throughout the entire semester, this class was on slow drip. Twitter has been our classmate. You have no idea about how many people outside of this class that I’ve bugged with random factoids about #chickentech, #AIinSkincare, #cryptocurrency, #NFTs, #BigTech, #FBinPolitics, #GenZvsMillennials, #MagicBands, #DXinBeerIndustry, #MachineLearning, #DigiDog, #BlackMirroresqueStuff… I could go on! I never considered myself a regular Twitter user before but I’m not going to lie, I’ve officially spent lesser time on Instagram than I have on Twitter this semester. Willingly. 

I feel very lucky to have this batch of students as my classmates. Our class has been such a warm, interactive, educational, diverse and engaging space. I have genuinely learnt something new from each and every person in this class – from Crypto in Supply Chain, Low Code Applications, Beacons in Sporting Arenas, touchless payment at Amazon stores, Disney’s Magic Bands to Analytics on the Basketball court and even NFTs. Everyone shared their presentations and blogs with such thorough research that it was suddenly simpler to understand complex stuff. Across industries. I think that’s amazing. 

It would be criminal if I didn’t mention our #TwitterTalks here. I didn’t even tweet as much as I actually absorbed information on Twitter. It was always fun discussing facts, sharing opinions and making predictions for the future with people on different points of the creepy-cool spectrum. Like I said earlier, Twitter has been like an invisible classmate that kept us engaged and bound together. I’m definitely going to have an #ISYS8621 hangover, so consider this fair warning – I may relapse this summer! 

With The Technology Fallacy forming the backbone of our semester, it is absolutely fitting that my biggest takeaway has been to understand that we need to focus on people, processes and mindsets instead of just focusing on new technology. I learnt this about myself too. It is essential to open our mind to possibilities, change, biases and finally, be able to have a clearer vision for our future, regardless if this is in relation to an organization’s internal processes or about accepting what we can do with Artificial Intelligence. Sayo’s presentation on how Japanese beer company, Kirin is responding to DX highlighted the main takeaway from Prof. Kane’s book – that newer or conservative organizations must learn from the digitally mature ones in order to stay relevant – kinda like me in this class!

I can now understand emerging technology and its applications across so many different industries in a better manner. I’ve learnt about how tech companies get you addicted to their platforms, the content regulation debate, how AI can be used to enhance our lives through Smart Mirrors or even writing softwares like Sudowrite, how technology can be used to be more present (Courtney’s blog on mindfulness and gratitude apps) and so much more. 

As I’m set to graduate in three weeks, I’m happy to report that moving forward, I consider myself out of the Late Majority category and well into the Early Majority category on the product/ technology adoption curve. To me, that’s a small victory. 

Thank you for being a part of the final step in my truly transformational Boston College MBA experience! 

5 comments

  1. conoreiremba · ·

    Divya this has everything, such a great post and your GIF and meme talents really are second to none! I have to agree with you on being a recovering “late adopter”. In the past, I have definitely had to be convinced by the crowd before taking on a new technology. But after this semester, I am definitely more willing to take those trust leaps, and given the great discussions we had, if I do need a nudge then the only crowd I need for tech advice is #ISYS8621 and I will be reaching out to you all in the future, although I don’t think even this class can convince me to join TikTok. Congrats on your upcoming graduation and best of luck with everything!

  2. ritellryan · ·

    Divya, I think I could beat you on the tech adoption scale as it took me until a couple of weeks ago to have Instagram (and I only have it for my baseball team) and didn’t have Venmo until a few years ago. However, just because I am a Luddite, doesn’t mean the interest wasn’t there. I think that is what makes this class unique, as we have people who are early adopters and people who are more skeptical talk about both sides of the argument to all of these technologies in a much more welcoming environment. Also, hat tip to calling out individuals work and sprinkling it throughout the blog, always nice to see good work get recognized.

  3. sayoyamusa · ·

    Divya, this is a great wrap up of the course! I always enjoyed reading your blog posts and I bet you have a talent in writing clear and sophisticated sentences!
    I didn’t feel you’re in a late adopter category as you kept providing us with lots of new technological aspects via your tweets and blog posts. Maybe your mom is simply so amazing to stay ahead of the curve! Along with your great question to my presentation, I’ve found that relativity matters here. Kirin cannot beat the cutting-edge tech companies in the world (and we do not need to do that,) but it can/should outperform the competitors in Japan. Thank you for giving me deep insights until this final moment!

  4. Scott Siegler · ·

    Nice post Divya! I definitely considered myself to be a person in the late majority if not laggards category. I feel like unless I could see the clear value that a new things brings to my life, I refrained from even trying it out. But once I’m convinced of the value I’m willing to invest a lot of money, time, and energy into implementing it successfully. I feel like the “if it’s not broken why fix it?” cliche has lived loudly in me, sometimes to a fault, and similarly to you I’m grateful that this class has helped me realize this.

  5. lourdessanfeliu · ·

    Great post Divya! Great summary of the class on what we went over. I really enjoyed all your blog posts and your presentation! Congratulations for your Graduation!

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