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If you are actively participating in your career path and business development, you have heard that the most important thing you can do for yourself is to keep your technology skills current. 10 years ago that meant learning a new version of Excel every 2 years. Now depending on your industry, staying current with technology including social media and the ever-changing trends around communication is moving at warp speed.

I love to stay hip….by saying “hip” I’m probably dating myself….I love popular culture, new trends, old trends that are new again, and I have a genuine curiosity about the next awesome technology. ‘Pokemon Go’ for example..….I knew I wasn’t going to get it…..What I did get, is that it looked fun…..I didn’t want to miss out and not because I’m chasing youth…..I want to stay relatable… a coach, I NEED to be relatable to all age groups. Building awareness around what is hot keeps us relatable in business and life.

I do have to confess that I underestimated how difficult it was going to be to keep up with technology. It has gotten so much harder for me. Is it my age or is it the pace of what is new or both? My Great Aunt Margie was a Facebook novice well into her 70’s….I thought keeping up would be easy.

Here’s what I learned from Snapchat that gives me encouragement. A few years ago I made the decision to be a social media guru. If Aunt Margie at 73 years young could rock Facebook, I needed to step up my game. I got myself on Instagram to find out that I was super late to that party and then there was Snapchat. The Mt Everest of Social Media for me. I didn’t get it….I was so slow at it and it just didn’t make sense. I did what so many try to do when we find ourselves in this position, maybe this medium won’t catch on. So, I walked away for a few months.

Then more and more people got on Snapchat….and it was clear if I wanted to keep up with my awesome sauce young cousins and nieces that I better be checking out their snaps. I started to understand a little bit better. As Wall Street started to pay attention… did I….now it’s about business as much as social. When a company goes public, it can’t be ignored. I started asking every snapper I knew about the hows and whys. (Thank you Sandra, Eli, Aimee, and Alicia.) Most important….I didn’t beat myself up about not knowing exactly how it works and why. I just stayed patient with myself and continued to experiment. Then….all of the sudden it started to be fun and I became quicker at using it.

Please don’t let this post lead you to believe that I am an expert on Snapchat. Far from it. What I am is a business coach who is building awareness around a communication media that is fun and important to a whole generation of people. A marketing tool that is important for business. And, a Wall Street darling whose stock share closed last week at $21.22.

That is the key to any new technology that comes your way. Don’t be the person who dismisses every next thing as stupid and ‘for the kids.’ Stay curious, stay patient, experiment, and be a part of the fun. You don’t have to get it….you can just build awareness that keeps you relatable….and maybe you might even find some appreciation. Most importantly, through being relatable… might just gain respect. Respect that will allow you to share wisdom. Wisdom like…..”Here’s why Pac-Man is waaay cooler than Pokemon Go.”

Have you gotten your fidget spinner yet? Leave a comment with your favorite ways to stay hip…