Technology is everywhere. But too many people are afraid to use it, turn it on or explore 10% of its functions.
If so, then here are a few ways that you can overcome your technophobia.
And of course, you can always add some more in the comments.
Starting out with Your Technology
- Try it before you buy it and get the person in the store to explain it before you pay for it.
- Buy the best equipment you can afford and take time to learn how to use it
- Turn on the technology and see what happens
- Press a button and see what happens. If you get a funny sound or something bad happens, turn it off and then turn it back on.
- Find a person who knows something about the technology and show them what you know and then keep playing while they watch. Never let them show you, only coach you.
- Read the set up manual and follow the instructions
- Read the manual as you need to learn something new
- Remember that nearly every program comes with a help button. Ask it questions and if it does not answer your question, Google or Bing for an answer that works for you.
- Be brave, it’s only a piece of technology and not nearly as smart as you are.
- Remember that making mistakes is a big part of learning. The people who made the technology made far more mistakes than you ever will with your new technology.
- Make sure you are sitting comfortably when using your technology
- Keep a list of all your technology including product and serial numbers. Label everything with your own code and code all wiring and attachments for that item. If you list your Toshiba computer as number 1 then label the plugs and wires for it with a number 1. Sure saves time if moving equipment. Love my Dymo label maker.
- Approach technology cautiously but know you are smarter than any technology. After all, it is a tool to help you.
- If something worked for you in one program, try the same thing in other programs. This is especially true with Microsoft products like Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher.
- Find the undo button.
- Find the reload button.
- Find the redo button
- Learn how to use the escape key.
- Know how to turn off your machine
- Know how to reset your machine
- Know how to pull the battery out, (worst case scenario).
- Save your work frequently and if possible have the automatic save feature work for you.
- Backup your work at least once a week to an external device, cloud computing is great but save important materials in more than one location.
- Take lots of mini breaks and do stretching exercises to prevent RSI or neck problems
- Stop multitasking. Using one program at a time saves time, gets more work done and helps you learn more.
- Turn off notifications, especially chat, social media and email notifications if you want to get anything done.
- Set up a schedule to learn new things with your technology and then take that time and learn. There are great courses to help you. Enrol!
- Repeat new learnings until they become easy to do without thinking too hard.
- Understand the importance of security. Learn about passwords. (LastPast is invaluable.)
- Keep your technology charged. Nothing worse than needing your mobile or tablet and finding that it is out of power. Get a portable charger.
- RTFM- when in doubt READ the FINE MANUAL. Even badly written manuals can save you time and frustration.
- When frustrated call the help desk but be prepared, they may have trouble understanding what your problem is because they really do talk a different language than you and really are uninterested that you are frustrated and upset.
- When using hot spots be careful of when you use sensitive materials like banking or credit cards.
- When sharing computers, do not save your passwords.
- Remember that when you delete a file, it is rarely removed from your computer completely. But recovery takes an expert.
- If your technology fails to turn on, check the power first – if is it supposed to be plugged in to work, check that it is?
- Next check if your technology is turned on. In some countries this means checking that the power to the power point is turned on.
- If turned on and plugged in and still not working, check the light switch, there may be a fuse blown or you may have a power outage.
- Where possible keep backup equipment. This can be especially important with essential technology like a phone.
- Insure your technology, where possible, in case your drop it. (Remember no one will insure if you get frustrated and throw it through a window or out of the car).
- Report any software problems to the developers; it’s how they fix the problems and improve the software.
- Feedback on what you like about your products, hardware and software. Improvement only happens when you let people know what is happening for you and sometimes if you are having a frustration, the feedback can help you solve the challenge.
- The World Wide Web is not the internet. Learn the difference and what the terms mean. (In cyberspace actually means on a server somewhere in the world).
- Your internet provider is a service provider just like your power company. Their bill needs to be paid.
- Try different things; remember you know where the redo and escape buttons are. Learning shortcuts can save you time.
- Ask for help instead of being frustrated with the equipment.
- Ask even if you are having trouble explaining what you want. If you talk about what you want you will get there eventually.
- Stay away from jargon you don’t understand. And don’t let others snowball you with jargon
- Talk about what you see, did, feel, touch, hear and taste exactly. Your reactions are important to your learning and using the equipment better.
- Use your support network and remember to ASK questions and give things a try.
- Find forums to ask for help and build relationships on the forum.
- Keep to your goals for using and learning.
- If you want a presence on line, learn about social media and use it wisely. No one really cares what you had for breakfast, lunch or dinner unless you are sharing a great new recipe, eatery or experience.
- Ask people who are making things happen how they did what they did. And be prepared to pay for it.
- If someone tells you what to do, record it and make notes so that you don’t frustrate them by asking the same question again and again. Remember that many mobile phones have video recorders.
- If you get instructions on how to something, do it and repeat the instructions back to your instructor to ensure that you understand and that it works for you.
- When dealing with projects using technology and consulting, be specific and stop the people from baffling you with BS
- Until you know what you want to do, you will never get there. This matters with technology and life and business
- If it feels too hard to move forward, take a break and read the manual.
Improving Your Use of Technology
Dealing with Technical Problems
Dealing with day to day usage
And always remember that technology- computers, mobile phones, computerized appliances (stove, microwave, sewing machine, washing machine etc.) are TOOLS designed to make your life easier. If they are making your life more difficult, you need to learn how to use them better. Your brain is the smartest, most capable computer in the world. Learn to use it.
To Your Success