Becoming a savvy user of 21st century technology

It’s said that “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” That’s either hog-wash or it’s sure taken me a long time to get ready to learn the “ins and outs” of  21st century technology. Andrea was my teacher yesterday and it felt so good to have a guide, someone to take me systematically from one place to the other on my developing website. I’ve just heard from a friend who is offering a class on working with spreadsheets to organize data. Wow. My time has finally come.

Prior learning experiences with computers, and software, and websites, and social networking, and smart phones, have usually involved what is called in typing, “the hunt and peck” method. People told me, “Just click around and you’ll figure it out.” But by now, I have figured out that that method only works for someone whose first experience with a computer or video game came before their 4th birthday.

I remember sending my 3 year old grandson an interactive game that was suppose to be played through the television set. Since he just graduated from high school last month, you can know that this was back in the days, now regarded in the world of technology as prehistoric. My daughter told me the story of the difficulty she was having connecting the game and getting it to work. She read the directions, (something my son always warned me against doing) and then called the 800 number for assistance. While she was on hold, the three year old in the other room begun pushing buttons in a random fashion, and got the game to work.

So I’m not saying the hunt and peck system doesn’t work – just not for me. I prefer the step by step, inch by inch approach, with lots of support and encouragement, like we had when we first started to walk or ride a bicycle. My technology skill quotient needs a lot of confidence building. I’m just learned to not immediately blame myself if a piece of technology or an operation doesn’t work. Since my goal in life is to dance with everything I found writing about my experiences helps me to ease the transitions. Here’s a 100 word poem I wrote after an experience with a computer security system.

I flunked the security check on Facebook this morning.

I’d been half proud of myself, gaining skills to enable

a giant leap over generational boundaries, not of the

“have and have-nots” but of the know-it-alls and the

klutzy clueless. Typing scrambled letters several times,

just as I saw them with difference configurations,

diligently hoping for approval from whatever robot of

the airwaves guards this gateway to inclusion.

Every time I receive confirmation of my failure to

measure up, each time I’m believing its condemnation.

I fail to achieve one of my heart’s strongest desires;

recognition as a real, regular person.


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