In the 21st century, the evolution of technology is happening at breakneck speed.
Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen the stellar rise of technologies straight out of 1980s sci-fi. Think smartphones and tablets, social media, and cryptocurrencies.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to keep up with the latest tech trends. Lagging tech knowledge puts you at a real disadvantage in your personal and professional life.
With the rapidly advancing technology, though, it can be difficult to stay on top of things. Those who are part of the digital generation now have a definitive leg up in the job market. (Want to find out how tech-savvy you really are? Check out this technological age quiz!)
So what can you do to keep up with technology? What strategies can help you stay ahead of the curve? Here are seven habits to adopt to stay at the cutting edge of tech developments.
1 – Read Tech Blogs
To start with, you should make reading tech blogs part of your routine.
Blogs are a fantastic place to start because they’re much more agile than traditional print media. That means they pick up on new trends faster.
Plus, many tech thought leaders are guest authors on these blogs or run their own. As a result, you’ll hear of incipient trends straight from the top players.
Following multiple tech blogs also gives you a good gauge to evaluate different trends. Is only one single blog featuring a new “defining” trend? Or is it popping up across the entire niche?
2 – Follow Tech Thought Leaders on Social Media
A second box to tick on your tech to-do list to keep up with trends is to hit social media. Follow thought leaders and tech outlets. Turn on your notifications and check new articles and high-profile posts as soon as they’re published.
But who should you follow?
Hot tip: Don’t restrict yourself to tech titans like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. While these are undoubtedly top players, they’re by far not the only – or the most innovative – ones. And, as we have seen in Musk’s Twitter saga, their technological acumen may not always be on point.
Instead, also follow tech editors at trustworthy media outlets, CEOs at smaller companies, and fast-growing startups. Product leads at large tech companies, such as YouTube and Google can also be fantastic sources of information. When new features are being launched, for instance, they’re often the first to share the news with the world.
Social media offers an additional advantage. It lets you assess how much each new trend resonates right away based on engagement – likes, shares, and mentions. By keeping an eye on social media, you’re sure to know which trend is currently blowing up.
3 – Sign Up for Tech Newsletters
You don’t want to trudge through multiple blogs or be constantly bombarded with social media notifications?
Then tech newsletters are a great option to stay on top of the latest trends.
Many tech-focussed media outlets offer newsletters at varying frequencies – daily briefings, weekly catch-ups, or monthly summaries.
By subscribing, you’ll get the latest tech news delivered straight to your inbox.
Plus, following tech news this way also has the advantage that you can maximize your efficiency. For instance, you can set up a folder in your inbox and create filters to automatically sort the tech newsletters you’re subscribed to into it. Then, you can block off time every day or once every week to read through them and catch up on tech news – instead of being distracted by new email or social media notifications.
4 – Join Tech Forums
Another way to go is to get right in with the tech crowd by joining tech forums. Whether it’s tech-related threads on generalist forums like Quora or Reddit, or more tech-specific platforms, forums give you a great feeling of where the conversation is heading.
Of course, you won’t be able to trust every “insider tip” or personal opinion on what “the next big thing” is going to be. But by looking at the overall discourse in these democratic spaces, you’ll get some first-hand insights into where the tech community is headed.
5 – Attend Tech Events
If you live nearby or if you have the chance to travel, attending tech events is a fantastic avenue to staying on top of the latest tech trends.
Expos, conferences, and conventions all give you a chance to deep-dive into the latest developments in the tech sector, and listen to some of the greatest tech influencers speak in person.
For instance, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, covers everything from 5G, IoT, and digital marketing to self-driving cars, space technology and food technology. Or are you more into AI, data science, machine learning, and big data? Then the Open Data Science Conference (ODSC) in Boston, Massachusetts is right for you.
Plus, these events don’t just offer you an opportunity to keep up with the latest tech trends. They’re also fantastic ways of finding out who the key players in the arena are and doing some networking.
Even if you can’t attend in person, many tech events offer online participation or publish programs so that you know who to look out for.
6 – Listen to Podcasts
Another option to stay tuned to the latest developments in the tech sector is to listen to niche-specific podcasts.
Like blogs, podcasts are agile and quick to pick up on the pulse of tech trends.
Check out the hottest podcasts in the tech sector on different platforms – from Spotify to Stitcher. Follow several and make a habit of tuning in whenever you’re on the go, doing housework, or working out at the gym.
7 – Check Tech Sections in News Outlets
Finally, there’s one of the more traditional ways of keeping up with tech. By reading the technology sections in major news outlets, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, or The Guardian.
It’s true, these established media rarely provide breaking news or cover cutting-edge trends when it comes to tech. For that, you’re better off monitoring social media.
However, they offer fantastic, in-depth coverage of major developments. They have professional journalists digging deep, double-checking information, verifying sources, and making sure their reporting is on point. As a result, they can provide you with a nuanced and reliable reflection on the latest tech trends.
In 2023, staying up with the latest tech trends is essential. It’ll give you a significant advantage in your professional, financial and personal life. By following the tips above, you’ll be able to keep ahead of the curve and earn a reputation as a tech insider.