Do your friends and work-mates think of you as a "techie"? As
some sort of nerdy person or even a "geek" who knows about technical stuff but
is otherwise a retiring sort of person, confined to the "back room"? If so, then
that is a pretty common situation and one that I think is rather sad.
I hate the word "techie" and "geek", for that matter. To my
mind, these are terms of deprecation, often used by IT and marketing people in
particular, to describe someone who understands stuff that they don’t. If you
think of yourself as a "techie" then consider the following.
In reality, you are a "technocrat" – part of a shining elite, a
person who has taken the time and trouble to inform himself (or herself) about
technology in a world where the vast majority of people are blissfully ignorant.
Sadly, not only are the majority of people ignorant about technology but they
are too lazy to do anything about or consider it "beneath them" as they occupy
themselves with astrology, aromatherapy, water divining, crystal therapy, the
latest fashion fad or other such trivialities.
In effect, any person who makes the effort to be fully informed
about the technology which surrounds and affects every part of our lives is more
in control. For example, if you don’t know that high intensity halogen or gas
discharge lamps present an ultraviolet radiation hazard, how can you do anything
about it? If you don’t understand anything about car electronics, how can you
make choices about the best sort of car to buy, or know the best way to drive
Similarly, if you don’t know anything about TV, DVDs and home
theatre systems, how can you possibly make the best decision when the time comes
to buy such things?
Or say you hear on the news that mobile phone towers are
dangerous, do you panic when one is about to be installed a kilometre away (the
normal public reaction) or are you the one to reassure others? And as someone
who is better informed, you can point out that the real danger is probably from
the mobile itself, rather than the distant transmitting tower.
It should be clear then that people who are technically
well-informed, whether as part of their job or interest, whether they read
magazines such as SILICON CHIP and others, are not just "techies"; they really
are a "clever elite", the technocrats. Give yourself a pat on the back. Increase
your self esteem.
In fact, as technical people we need to make an effort to
correct the tendency of the general public to undervalue people with technical
skills. Of course, this does not just apply to people skilled in electronics; it
applies to skilled people generally.
And this is not to say that we need to go around with "tickets
on ourselves", thinking that we are superior to other people. But it is a far
cry from being regarded as a lowly "techie", isn’t it?Leo Simpson