Is it possible to be tech-savvy without always being connected?
You have wondered, haven't you?
Is it actually possible to live your life without it being a media event?1
Is it possible to understand the lingo without feeling like you’re deciphering a foreign language?
Can you benefit from what’s happening on social media without having to learn how to use it?
Yes, it is possible.
And you can.
Because if my friend Sam can; you can too.
Sam is 55 years old and has been a librarian for over 25 years. She has had many jobs - from reference and circulation, to outreach and programme development.
Sam isn’t on social media; not even Facebook.2
She also has absolutely no tolerance for people who prefer to look at a screen rather than what’s going on around them.
But Sam isn’t worried about her tech skills.
She doesn’t feel overwhelmed by how quickly new online tools replace old ones. Sam also knows the latest digital trends in her field and she finds other tech-savvy librarians often ask her for her opinion.
So what did Sam do to become tech-savvy without being stymied by the tech?
how to improve your digital practice in 5 steps
Learning to code is all the rage these days. Howver when it comes to being tech-savvy without being stymied by the tech, learning to code is an ambitious goal.
And because it is ambitious, it is the wrong place to start.
Yes, I know this goes against what we often hear – aim high, shoot for the stars, dream big etc.
But who cares? If you feel overwhelmed and paralysed by the thought of becoming tech-savvy then the only way to overcome your fear is to start small.3
In fact, just starting is an achievement worth celebrating.
Sam used to believe she couldn't be tech-savvy like her colleagues.
Sometimes when she felt she had grasped what they were saying, it unexpectedly burst like a bubble and all that remained was confusion. It made her feel stupid and dumb. And she didn’t like feeling that way.
So rather than trying to upskill in all areas of her work, Sam started with an area she enjoyed (staff training). And as a result her expectations changed from ‘I want to be a better with tech’ to ‘I want to know what online tools can help me with staff training’.4
By starting small Sam’s feelings changed. She wasn’t going to feel stupid or dumb anymore. She was going to be even better at staff training!
Be motivated to learn about tech by choosing something you enjoy. #TheLibraryBoss
Sam gets stressed when she feels like she is wasting time. A 5 minute video might contain only 30 seconds of relevant information. A 6 week online class might contain so much jargon that it makes no sense at all. Sam believes the stress isn't worth the effort.
Instead of watching videos or taking online classes to increase her digital knowledge Sam subscribes to newsletters and blogs.
It is so much less stressful.
New content arrives in her inbox and it sits there until she gets a chance to read it. Sometimes she just skims the headlines. And sometimes she clicks on every single link. It really depends on how much time she has and how curious she is.
By reading blogs Sam has become more aware of how ‘things digital’ are being used by others to do things differently, smarter and more effectively.5
But the biggest benefit is that Sam doesn’t have to spend hours each week searching online for information.
And she can’t believe how easy it is.
Looking for a stress-free way to increase your digital knowledge? Subscribe to blogs. #TheLibraryBoss
Sam’s confidence in technology grew the more she read. She still hadn't joined social media. Neither was she spending more time online. But she was talking with her colleagues more often.
Sam suggested new ways of doing things because she had read about how other libraries had done things. She also understood most of the conversations with her more tech-savvy colleagues. She doesn’t feel she is able to contribute yet, but at least she no longer felt as if they were speaking a foreign language!
Sam also noticed that because she was sharing more tech-related stuff, others were asking her about tech-related stuff.
When you share what you know with others they are more likely to share what they know with you #TheLibraryBoss
Do you want to be tech-savvy without always being connected? You can.
Do you want to understand the lingo without feeling like you’re deciphering a foreign language? You can.
Do you want to benefit from what’s happening on social media without having to learn how to use it? You can.
Because if Sam can; you can.
Are you ready to do this?
Or are you going to sit there thinking you can’t?
The choice is yours.
Do you use any of these tips to help you become tech-savvy? Feel free to brag about your success in the comments! 🙂
how to keep up-to-date when you barely have time to browse
Sally Pewhairangi: I don't have any magic beans or secret sauce. But I do have 20 plus years library experience and want to share what I have learned to help YOU flourish in a digital world. Learn more.
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