When I read earlier today that MajorLeague Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig told a media conference that he does not own a computer, it got me to thinking:
Why do so many famous, rich, older men and women not only do not have PCs, but don't have a clue about computing and the Internet?
Let's call the roll of some others who have admitted this publicly:
- Talk show host Larry King. He said so on his show earlier this month.
- Doug Morris, CEO of Universal Music Group.
- Judge Judy Scheinlein.
- Media entrepreneur Ted Turner. He told me this personally.
- Former Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill.
- Donald Trump may be an Internet-resister as well.
So what gives?
Don't tell me it is age alone. I could point to a family member who is more senior-y than all these people. Three years ago, she decided to get a computer and tackle it. Now she's on the Internet daily, for hours at a time.
And you would think some of these people would be able to find a role for computers, and the Internet, in their lives. Let's say you are Larry King, and you feel you need to know a bit more about tomorrow evening's guest, and their book.
Or you are Judge Judy, and might want to check an online legal reference resource for precadent in a case you know is coming up in tomorrow's taping. Wouldn't going on the Internet yourself, say at home after spouse, kids, etc. have gone to bed, be helpful?
I think what we really have here is a carry-over of lifelong attitudes that equate getting things done with getting people to do this stuff for you. These are people who don't place their own phone calls, don't write their own letters (electronic or dead-tree), don't send their own e-mails (most on this list have publicly admitted this). Heck. Not even all of them drive!
Because many of these rich, famous people have had things done for them, and are unfamiliar with the joy of using PCs and the Internet, they have trouble separating themselves from the idea that - when it comes to computer and Internet use- "we have secretaries and assistants for that."
Sounds kind of limiting to me. But then again, if you have never been there...