Tuesday, June 26, 2012
It’s All How You See It
by Luke Frazier, host of NEOtropolis
You say high tech, I say low tech, but can we agree that it’s really about perception and belief, in technology and ourselves? When I moved back to Northeast Ohio, I anticipated a slower pace than the East Coast, and that the slower pace would probably translate to a less “cutting-edge” feel to the technology environment.
But what I found is that the idea of high tech is lodged firmly inside my own head, and the sense of how "futuristic” a place is has less to do with the environment and more to do with my perception. What I mean is that my perspective on how high tech the iPad is, or the latest car model that streams my iPod and reads my text messages, has nothing to do with being in Akron, Canton, Youngstown or Cleveland. It has to do with my perspective on how I respond and interact with my world in new ways, in a context of ever-accelerating tech toys and decreasing distances between what I can do in my mind (through thinking) and what I can do with my fingers (tapping a smart phone).
So while Northeast Ohio boasts a lot of tech incubators and biotech companies and certainly a world of high-tech research — medical, polymer, materials, etc. — it really comes down to my belief in its sacred nature, or profane reality (e.g., never hearing the voice of a business associate because all I’ve done is email, text, instant message, exchange files via Dropbox and post on Facebook withthem) of various high tech strategies.
My conclusion is that Northeast Ohio is as techie as anywhere else, and my belief is that it doesn’t matter. What matters, in the end, is how we use it.