Young people that have grown up using computers are called digital natives. This generation has the advantage of having grown up using technology as second nature, with an in-depth understanding of how it works.
There are approximately 363 million digital natives out of a world population of nearly 7 billion. That’s only 5.2 percent of the human population, a relatively small group of people. The other 94.8 percent of people have had to adopt technology into their lives, which can be challenging for some.
Technology’s rise in popularity
Technology has undoubtedly reshaped the world around us. Consider how technology has impacted small, everyday activities such as:
- The way we call a taxi (Uber
- Meeting with people from all over the world (Zoom/Skype)
- Hiring someone to take our dog for a walk (Rover)
- Buying food for delivery (Mr. Delivery)
It is clear that technology is here to stay and for the vast majority of the population that are not digital natives, we need to embrace technology as a tool and not an obstacle.
Tips on how to embrace technology
There are a few methods we can use to make the adoption of new technologies much easier. Especially for those who are just beginning to learn how to use them.
1. Start with the basics
It’s important to ensure that you have a fundamental understanding of technology.
There are patterns to the way that things work and if you can understand these patterns, you can adopt nearly any technological tool. Start by learning the basics of each technology that you use so that when it is time to understand more complex tools, you have a good foundation.
For example, if you are learning to use a word processor, start with how to format your text and how to change colours. Before you know it, you will be able to create mail merge documents in your sleep.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Did you know that Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day?
Google is your best friend when it comes to figuring out the answer to any question you have. You just have to ask it in the right way. The truth is out there!
Many tools also have useful customer support. Leverage this support and ask questions on how to use the features of certain tools.
3. Trial and error
If at first, you don’t succeed, try again. This is very relevant when working with technology. Be inquisitive and click buttons to see what happens. In most computer programs you can always press Ctrl + z to undo your last change.
4. Stick to one technology set
Try to learn one technology set instead of several at the same time. Software made by the same software developer will usually be familiar across programs.
For example, you will find Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Outlook very familiar if you use Microsoft Word.
5. Use the same tools as your team members
If your entire team uses the same software, then you can help each other to solve problems and to learn new functionality in the software programs that you use.
If you have a problem, someone else has likely had the same problem. Ask your team if they know the answer!
6. Try a course on a technology you want to learn
There are millions of courses available online that teach the skills you are looking for. Ask Google to find a course on the topic you are looking for and you will most likely find one.
If you are looking for a basic foundational course that explains the foundational concepts of technology, check out this Digital Literacy course from Chartall Business College.
Time to embrace technology
At first, figuring out technology can be a daunting task, but if you are inquisitive and patient, you will find that technology enables you to do so much more than you could have dreamed.
After some time, it will begin to feel easy, and maybe you will also call yourself a digital native.