Learning technology isn’t hard, it just takes practice. Let’s face it, there are a lot of smart and capable people that just suck when it comes to technology. Are you one of them?
I once had someone explain to me “you know what, I’ve been around technology my whole life. Learning machine language, Fortran, working in DOS… I’m just too old to learn new things”. Let’s take this apart and try to understand it. This guy’s telling me that he learnt computer skills when computers were made solely for technically savvy people. Machine learning isn’t intuitive. It isn’t easy to understand. A person cannot simply walk up to a mainframe and start programming it. The trouble that I have with a response like this is that he was talking about his apprehension to learn how to use an iPad. An iPad! My 5 year nephew knows how to use an iPad. Cats know how to use iPads and they poop in a box!
But I don’t know how to use an iPad
Am I trying to tell you that cats are smarter than you because they can get to level 20 on Fruit Ninja? No, I’m not. What I want to get across is that it doesn’t take a smart person to become comfortable with technology. It takes one very important trait that all children seem to have in common.
The child’s mind
Maybe you’ve heard of this referenced before. The child’s mind. What does that mean? It means that kids are open to playing, not worrying about consequence or looking silly. They don’t worry about breaking something (probably why they break everything), they don’t ask permission, and they don’t care if they click the wrong, don’t know how to do something, or fall over like a bumbling buffoon
Why is this great news?
Simple. You don’t have to be smart to learn new technology. You don’t have to be tech savvy. You don’t even really need to work. What you need to do is play. Have an open mind, click unforgivingly, ask the stupid questions**, just try. No matter how old you are, or what your comfort level is, you have a ‘get out of jail free’ card for looking like you don’t know what you’re doing. You’ve never done it before. How can anyone expect you to do something if you’ve never done it before?
**There are no stupid questions
This is false. There are stupid questions. The stupid questions are questions you have already asked and have already been answered. If you’ve never done something before, or have no idea what you’re doing, just ask. Be comfortable asking. No tech support person will ever think less of you for asking a question. He/she may get upset when you ask a question for the 12th time. Don’t ask the same question 12 times. Once… maybe twice. Not 12.
Have fun with it
This is the important one. Kids get really good with technology really quickly. Their motivation is simple. Technology is super fun and they like having fun. If you’re trying to learn computers so that you can do your banking online and send emails, your motivations might not be overwhelmingly positive. Go out and discover the amazing things the internet has to offer. Like cats playing on iPads, or toddlers falling into dog bowls, there’s something for everyone. Realize that there are amazing things out there for you to discover, and convince yourself it’s worth the moments of frustration