The say that the mark of an educated man is that he knows that which he is ignorant of. If that is the case, then I might be the best educated man in the whole MBA program. I knew going into this class that I had a lot to learn about. I got my undergrad degree in psychology so I had more room to grow in this program than most. Some classes came more naturally to me than other. Some, particularly those requiring tech savviness, less so. Coming into this semester I was hoping to increase my so-called digital literacy for both professional and academic purposes. My misapprehension was that I would just take this class and then have all the answers. Instead, I have the questions that I need to ask
The idea that I was or need to become a tech genius is, to borrow the term, a fallacy. It’s a fallacy that is deeply paralyzing. Sometimes a taunting challenge (perceived or genuine) forces us to grow in order to meet it. More often however, it prevents us from even starting. I think we can all relate to this in one way or another. Slow and steady wins the race, and I’ve slowly learned to step out of my comfort zone and increase both my risk tolerance and knowledge base. As many of you probably noticed, I’m not concerned with sounding stupid. In my defense, I’m a part timer and I swear that my IQ drops 15-20 points after a full day of work. At any rate, why I’m open to learning is because I’m not trying to be the world’s greatest authority on all things digital. I’ve always known that I don’t need to aim for the moon in that respect, this class really served to help me internalize that fact. As such, I’m increasing my risk tolerance by lowering a faulty perception of it.
Another takeaway for me come not from the class material itself but in fact the class structure. In my initial blog I talked about how I benefit from a traditional structure and I wasn’t sure how this was going to play out. But I’ve continued to embrace baptism by fire and this class was that in spades. Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t always just mean new material. Sometimes it can mean doing the same thing but in a different way. I’m a fairly discipled person, but I see now that sometimes a disciple is a smokescreen for rigidity and anxiety. Much like a company needs to be willing to pivot and keep up with digital transformation, the structure of this class has made be a more resilient person.
Getting back to the digital side of things, I’m looking to parlay this past semester into my new job. I recently accepted a new position and will be starting shortly. It’s a bit more technical and data driven than what I’m doing right now. I’m a fairly quick learned, so I’m confident that I’ll pick things up with time and effort. But now I have a few more tools at my disposal. I’m better equipped to ask the right kids of questions to achieve more. I don’t just want to know what buttons to push in order to accomplish a very specific task. I see that the “why” is sometimes more important than the “what” and I plan on putting that mindset to work. The exception to this might be blockchain technology. I’m probably not going to fully understand that anytime soon.
This class certainly broaden my views of the digital world. But there is one worldview of my that it only hardened. As demonstrated repeatedly on twitter, I’m radically opposed to invasions of privacy and the curtailing of free expression. I feel that this is one of the greatest issues of are times, particularly in the digital realm. Our many (many,many) discussions about Facebook and adjacent topics have only served to reinforce those beliefs. While I will continue to immerse myself in technology, I will also continue to try compartmentalize my exposure to it. In recent years I’ve engaged in what I call “dopamine cleanses”. I will be making a concerted effort to spend less time on my phone. Although, to be honest, it’s not easy. I believe that we aren’t evolved to deal with many aspects of modern technology and suffer the consequences. I will be deleting my twitter account after semester as I believe the capacity for addiction, mental illness, and conflict are too engrained with the platform. It’s a feature rather than a bug. I see no reason that I can’t be more digitally literate and proficient while at the same time spending for time in the real world. From this, you can probably gather that if you ever run into me, it’s not going to be in the metaverse.