Keep Auto Update and Step Out Your Comfort Zone
When I got my first laptop in 2007, I found that every few days a small window popped up telling me that some software or system drivers would be updated during next boot. This was quite annoying since it made the startup period extremely long, and several reboots could occur during the installation process. In the end, I changed the “Auto Update” to “Notify Me When an Update is Available” option and enjoyed a peaceful and undisturbed working environment. Once a while, I would check the update list and only selected those that seemed to be necessary for my laptop. The available updates accumulated over the time, and eventually I gave up checking the list. Luckily, things went on smoothly for the following year, and I gradually forgot about all these update issues.
In 2009, I was dragged into the World of Warcraft by my classmates and became a little abscessed with this fascinating world. However, upon installation, I could not open the game client properly. With the help of my roommate, I finally found out that the problem was my outdated video driver. It required substantial upgrade (about 2 hours) to meet the minimum requirement for this game. I spent the rest of that day updating lots of my software and other patches and thrilled to discover lots of new and easy-to-use functions in my current software. The computer also ran much faster due to some major optimization in operation system.
Computer is a simplified version of our human brain, and it needs our humans to turn on the “Auto Update” function to achieve continuous evolving. Without this major learning process (i.e. installation of various patches), computers will not be compatible with many new software or games and may be abandoned in the end. For our humans, we are lucky enough having direct control to our own brain and can easily embrace all the changes and new knowledge via continuous learning. In order to keep up with this digital era, we should hold an open mind to all the new things. For example, my parents have never used a smartphone before, and in their mind phone should only be used to contact someone. Once I introduced all the fancy new functions on the smartphone, my parents were amazed by the all the convenience this tiny device could bring. Last year when I got back home for Christmas, my parents taught themselves of all the new functions on smartphone. Right now, with the help of a smartphone, they can easily purchase anything with “Alipay” without concerning short of cash or receiving forged note. This is an example of how technology can change our life, but it can only happen when you embrace it positively.
(click on this figure to be directed to the original source)
I know keep learning new things can be scary to someone, considering this process always start with stepping of your comfort zone. But in higher education, you need to stay on the “same page” with most of the people. For example, our graduate students need to read new research papers every week or even every day to absorb new knowledge. To me, I can keep my mind at its best state and come up with lots of fresh research ideas via timely “upgrade”. So don’t turn off your “Auto Update” function, stay positive, be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone, and embrace changes and new knowledge with passion. This is when the magic can happen in this digital era.