How to Adapt to New Technology: A Guide for the Technically Challenged

You’re never old enough to know everything you should. But you’re never old enough to learn through osmosis either, which is why admitting you don’t know how can be just as difficult as taking the steps to learn. For many, this applies especially to new technology, where it’s easy to feel intimidated and stick to old ways of doing things, even when there’s a better solution available. But if you’ve been putting off learning that new system at work, or struggling to keep up with evolving technologies at home, what better time to learn than now?

Despite how overwhelming getting started can feel, learning something new doesn’t have to be a chore. By simply determining what you want to learn, setting a goal, finding a teacher, and committing to the learning process, you will easily learn new technologies that can dramatically improve daily interactions and tasks.

Pick something new to learn.

It doesn’t have to be a skill set that is directly related to your job—it could be anything you feel passionate about or have a genuine interest in exploring, whether it’s making YouTube videos, setting up a social media account, or syncing your email to a new Android device. Just finding something personally interesting or that adds value to your own life will improve your motivation to learn and produce a profound sense of accomplishment. All the while building basic skills that can be applied to other technologies.

Remember why it’s important and set goals accordingly.

Technology is a tool to make life easier, so remind yourself of the end goal and set smaller goals to sustain yourself and remain focused when things get frustrating. This will also make completing those goals feel more fulfilling, especially once you familiarize yourself with something enough to apply what you’re learning in your sleep.

Find the right teacher, but don’t neglect unorthodox sources.

We all have different skill sets, so finding the right teacher is crucial to learning and feeling empowered at the same time. For some, this might take the form of more traditional means of education, such as attending community college classes, night school, or online courses. For others, coworkers, family members and friends prove to be reliable and accessible sources of valuable information. But between these conventional sources of information is a wealth of unorthodox teachers you may not know exist. Exposure to different people, situations and ideas can produce all sorts of “a-ha!” moments that will benefit you in your journey to learn. So set aside any worries about someone knowing you don’t know something. Most people love to help guide others to discover new things.

Become a sponge.

Get ready to start absorbing knowledge. You can get a basic understanding of the topic you want to learn by Googling it or searching YouTube for “beginner tutorials”. Many software companies (like Black Mountain Software) also provide tutorials and online training at no additional charge so you can learn new ways to use a tool or program. Another option is to find a book, class, or professional group related to the topic of interest. There’s no wrong way to learn something new, so find what works for you, retain every drop of knowledge you can, and enjoy the process.

Take away the intimidation factor.

Remember that there is nothing “magical” about technology. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be embarrassed about what you don’t know. Even when things seem simple, everybody misses little things occasionally. Take a deep breath, tell yourself that it’s not such a big deal, and ask your pressing question.

Everyone has felt embarrassed about their lack of knowledge at one time or another. But following this guide will ensure you learn what you can as you find yourself wanting. Moreover, consistently applying these principles will ultimately pave the way toward an endlessly rewarding journey with new tech and the ability to wield it in a meaningful way.

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