Figuring out my new technology

Figuring out my new technology

I love technology. I love shiny new computers and phones and tablets–and all the cool apps and fun (and productive) things they let me do. But I hate technology change. Not in a universal sense, but as it applies to me personally.

Last week, my Outlook crashed and I can’t get into it. I can’t even understand the instructions for how to fix it. And since my come-on-it’s-only-a-couple-years-old computer is getting increasingly…persnickety, I finally accepted what I’ve been avoiding: it’s time to upgrade. With great fear and trepidation, I bought a new computer and matching software. So now I have to survive a technology change.

Am I the only one who wants to run screaming from the room at the very thought?  I absolutely abhor the learning curve. Why is it that every time they “improve” a program, I can’t figure out how to use it anymore? For me, steep learning curves plus new ways of thinking often equals what feels like a complete and total waste of time.

But when ‘old faithful’–be it computer, phone or tablet–quits, a technology change is inevitable.

Here, from my recent well of frustration, are a couple of tips to (hopefully) make the process just a teensy bit easier.

Look on the bright side.

Like many things, it’s all about attitude. Are you excited about the new technology, or wishing things stayed the same? I’m usually dealing with both. I want the increased functionality without having to learn how it works. Too bad there isn’t a way to install that knowledge along with the program.

Accept it.

I know, it seems basic, right? But how often do we waste precious time longing for the good old days, technology-wise? What we really mean is, we want our comfort zone back. We want to use the tools without having to think about HOW to use them. Accept that Office 2003 (or your favorite program) isn’t coming back.

Take the time to learn.

Remember those boring manuals in type so small you couldn’t read them, much less understand what they were saying? The good news is that most of the new tutorials are visual. They usually give audible instructions and let you practice, too, so that helps. Invest the time. It’ll be worth it in the long run.

Ask a teenager.

Did you know that today’s incoming college freshmen were born the same year as Windows 95? (Check out The Mindset List for more fun facts about today’s college students.) So when you’re completely stumped, call your child, grandchild or the kid down the block. Chances are they can unravel the mystery in three clicks of a mouse, or two taps on the touchpad.

Enjoy.

Once you slog through the learning curve, take a minute to pat yourself on the back. You stuck to it and you got through. Enjoy that shiny new device with all the fancy new apps. Freak out your children with your mad skills.

After that, it’s time to get back to your regularly scheduled creative life–armed with a whole new arsenal of tools.

How about you? How do you survive a technology change? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

 

Don’t forget: Tuesday, September 3, 2013, Barbara Vey is doing a HUGE book giveaway on her blog. She’s giving away THREE copies of Angel Falls, so be sure to stop by Beyond Her Book to enter. Would you help spread the word, too? Thanks so much.