10 Things Technophobes Say

Thesis time. Sucks. Thesis-time coping strategies have included copious amounts of procrastination, escapism and reading ancient books like Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations; not only one of the most cited books I have encountered during my course, but the 2nd most cited book in social sciences. It’s no wonder. I love him, I love the Diffusion of Innovations theory. It  proposes that within a given population, distinct groups of people adapt new innovations and ideas at different time lapses after the innovation’s introduction. They can be categorized as innovators (2.5%), early adopters (13.5%), early majority (34%), late majority (34%) and laggards (16%), based on the Bell curve. Technically this theory applies more to some situations than others (e.g. more towards acquisition than cessation of behaviors), but in practice it is as accurate as a normal distribution curve. It is the rare epitome of a scientific and mathematical approach to social theory – providing a solid language for innovation researchers since 1962.

diff-innov theory

Each adopter’s willingness and ability to adopt an innovation depends on their awareness, interest, evaluation, trial, and adoption. Socioeconomic factors also come to play, although Rogers didn’t take these much to account. For example,

Laggards typically tend to be focused on “traditions”, likely to have lowest social status, lowest financial fluidity, be oldest of all other adopters, in contact with only family and close friends. (Wikipedia)

And recently my cousin, who is a certified geek, pointed out that I was a technophobe. He mentioned all the lame things I say about innovative technologies and I have to admit that although it doesn’t make any sense (I blog sometimes, don’t I? And I use emojis.)  he might be right. I have to admit, when it comes to technology these days (1) I just can’t afford all this new shit every other time with the updates and uploads and models and whatnot. (2) I like wearing clothes. (3) I like cheap wine. (4) What’s an iPhone worth to a homelessness sober person? Not much. All my friends would pretend not to know me. (5) I’ll stick to my BB hand-me-downs, thanks.

Other statements I have been accused of saying include:

(6) “I hate touchscreen phones and tablets [because… I prefer to text without staring at the screen the whole time / Sausage fingers… etc, etc].”

(7) “What is Candy Crush?”

(8) “I don’t like torrents because (i) viruses; (ii) Karma.”

(9) “I like your iThing [mac or macbook or tablet of any brand] / iPhone [iPod] / let’s meet outside the iShop [Apple Store].”

(=5) “Blackberry ’till I die!”

(10) “I don’t trust Kaspersky”.

So I’m guessing I fall dangerously between the late adopters and laggards categories as far as tech is concerned. Considering my disdain for “tradition” one might think this weird, but then again traditionalists and (borderline) outliers have nothing in common. So it suits me just fine.

What’s that? You’re wondering what the most cited book in the social sciences  is?

So glad you asked.

Let me just meander through the internet for the next few hours or so to find the answer to your most pressing question.


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