Technology can be scary. In this new digital age, we’re surrounded by new-fangled surprises of innovation that can be intimidating to approach. But we see the advantages of this new tech, and want to use it. How can we make the best of it without the headaches and the stress? I’ll attempt to answer that today in this post.
Why is it scary?
Life is usually a consistent cycle. One day rolls to the next and we build on our habits. But now and again, we have a bad day. All it takes is a little mishap, and our world comes crashing down. When we have a set of habits in an ordinary day, and one of those habits is interrupted because of a technology failure, it really breaks our momentum. As a technologist, I’m not immune to this phenomenon (as you can see in the image on the right). In fact, in order to become a technologist, it was very important for me to learn why this happens to us and what to do to overcome it.
Our fear of technology is based on the experiences we have with it. Every interaction with technology is a reinforcement of our opinion of technology, whether positive or negative. As a result, every negative experience we have feeds our distrust for this complex blob of electronics that we don’t fully understand.
What can we do about it?
The big question then is, what can we do about it? How can we overcome this labyrinth if we know there are going to be failures? There are three things that I think are key to getting past the barriers.
1• Understand the Possibilities
There is probably a reason you have this technology in front of you right now, so make yourself aware of what you plan to accomplish with it and how you can best do that. This sometimes means doing some exploration and learning about new features of software or new ways of doing things.
2• Have Patience
The second step is to maintain a positive attitude while using technology. Because the tech is just a means to an end, we often want to overlook it and ignore it. It’s easy to get impatient and begin reacting to an already overloaded computer. Take your time and allow the technology to play a part in what you’re doing. If you put a little of your own focus on technology, your audience will not notice the technology as much, because instead of being a distraction, it will move smoothly behind the scenes.
3• Plan Ahead
Before you do something “for real”, practice by walking through exactly what you plan to do. You should do this anytime before you present, or make anything live to the world. Testing is key when using tech regardless of what you’re using it for. The outcomes of a set of actions on a computer are almost always identical, so you will usually find flaws in the process the first time you do it.
Anything is Possible
A computer is a very powerful thing. The reason that I’ve given so much of my life to this world of circuits is because it opens the door to an endless supply of interesting things to learn and explore. From architecture to medicine, from science to art, everything can be made better and easier with technology, including and especially education. Not how much you know, but rather how you approach it is the biggest factor in what technology will do for you.