Everyone seems to have a good quote for this birthday. When my parents turned 40, we called them “over the hill,” but that phrase seems ‘old school’ in 2018.
Does Gen Z send homemade birthday cards?
One thing I love about being born in the late 1970s is
that I know what life was like with no Internet or smartphones. I wrote 2-3-page letters to my long-distance
pen pals, knew my best friend’s number by heart and actually spent hours
researching amoebae in the “A” book of our encyclopaedia. I remember being mortified when Dad answered the
family landline after 10:00 PM to remind male suitors it was too late for a
phone call – oh the ‘90s!
I assume I’m not the only one who is nostalgic for the
pre-Internet days. That’s why I still
adore handwritten thank you cards, friends who call ‘just to chat’ and browsing
used books in independent stores.
CLICK TO TWEET: CommScope's Jocelyn Penque explains why 40 is the new 20.
A Walking Contradiction
Yet despite longing for the ‘way things used to be,’ there
are plenty of similarities between the mobile-first generation and me. I have five connected
devices, love learning about what makes the Internet work and surround myself
with fibre optic engineers and tech pioneers.
Facebook and WhatsApp connect me to family and friends in Singapore,
Australia, France and Texas while I follow Pilates and yoga instructors in
My friends find it odd how excited I become when
spotting a base station antenna or cabinet in the street. Tech geek might be an understatement.
How can we stay human in the digital age?
Building on a passion for emerging technology, I recently
hosted a Facebook Live with Marine Tanguy, founder of MTArt and Forbes’ 30 under
30, Jasmine Pradissitto, an artist who is inspired by scientific breakthroughs and Bernadine Bröcker Wieder
the founder of Vastari.
We focused on the topic, “Can
Intelligent Machines Match Human Creativity?” where I asked
these inspirational leaders if art should aspire to virtual perfection or
engage the realities of human condition.
After a thought provoking discussion, we seemed to agree that technology
and human creativity should be mutually beneficial.
As I celebrate the big 4-0, I am excited for what lies ahead. I guess you could call me a seasoned 20 something who has a lot to learn.