Learning Computers at Any Age – Overcoming Fear
I grew up after computers became a way of life. My first experience with a computer of sorts is when the first handheld calculators came on the market, which was very expensive at the time. Now you can buy a calculator for a dollar and no one thinks a calculator is a computer. Kids today probably think many of the items they use were invented ages ago. Pantyhose were invented only a few decades ago.
Today computers are a way of life. Many items we use are computerized from digital thermostats to cars to, of course, the dreaded PC. For young people embracing new technology is not even a consideration for but those who are much older using these items can be daunting.
Many people who left the workforce before computers completely took over many aspects of operations have been able to avoid using them now. Some have felt the need to have them but only use them for emails or surfing the web. Either way older adults really don’t know how to use them, maintain them or heavily rely on their kids and grandkids to get information for them. It’s fear.
These adults use excuses as I cannot type, I don’t need a computer, and I will break it or what happens if it won’t work. Then you have the limited users, those that have learned to email but are afraid to use the computer beyond what they initially learned so the excuses continue. I don’t have time for Social Networking. I am too busy. It’s fear. Either way these excuses are silly and speak more about making mistakes while learning something new. Again it’s fear. The real reason that older adults continue to avoid new technology is they “fear” that they won’t be able to understand how to use it thus “feeling stupid.” My oh my, one cannot be old and wise and stupid all at the same time. I don’t know about you but I see a remarked difference between being stupid and being unknowledgeable. One is one’s lack of ability and the other is one’s need to apply one’s ability. In recent years, a cell phone has been marketed to older adults-a simple phone with large letters playing into their fear. If adults would just quit feeling intimidated they would learn something that is easier than they think to operate.
Technology like any industry has evolved with its own language. I think this language is the second biggest stumbling block to understanding and using a computer-not just sending an email or surfing the web but truly use computer programs on both a PC and other items. The other thing is just like owning a car you don’t need to know how it was built or how to repair it in order to drive it.
A few years ago I had to train two older men how to use a computer; both having no knowledge of the first thing about a computer. Neither knew how to turn one on or could type. This was hard for two reasons, one male ego and the other removing the fear of appearing stupid. In just two sessions I was able to get both of them to write & save documents, print labels and update data in programs along with sending emails and accessing the Internet. At times they needed to ask more questions because as they learned one task they needed to learn another. Does this make one stupid or is this part of learning? I mean were you born with the knowledge of reading and writing?
Once they realized what was holding them back they did way beyond what others their age do on the computer.
The adage “You cannot teach an old dog new tricks” has nothing to do with age. One doesn’t have to type or be young to use the computer. Nor do you have to limit your usage to just emails or surfing the web. You just need to relax so you can absorb what you are being taught so you can ask questions. Coming up with questions means you are thinking therefore you will remember what you are being taught. Plus you can then be open to learn more. That doesn’t mean you have to be an expert but learn enough to understand what you are doing. I mean how many things are you really an expert with anyway? You cook but are you a gourmet chef? You screw in a light bulb what now an electrician? So why do you think you have to be a computer expert?
So once you start to learn how to use this marvel that can make things simpler the next step is find a real computer technician. Just as in the past you had a TV repair guy now you need a PC repair guy. Many advertised companies are very expensive to pay to maintain your computer so look for an independent company or person. One who is local can come to your home and charges a modest flat fee or a reasonable hourly rate. One important tip to remember is while they are there servicing, upgrading, or working on your computer pay attention and ask questions. Learning is a life process in everything we do. Either you stay stagnant or keeping learning. Learning something new everyday doesn’t just mean hearing something new it means learning how to do something new.
Only your mind keeps you young. Being aware of changes around you along with the changes that affect you will forever insure you will allow the flow of information to keep you current. You can age but don’t grow old.
Stop making excuses. Accept you may never become an expert so who cares? Don’t limit yourself in anyway. If you aren’t stupid not knowing the computer doesn’t make you stupid but not wanting to learn it may make you a dinosaur.
If you’ve attempted to learn from a relative then find someone else to teach you. Buying a CD or book to learn may help once you’ve mastered some basics but it will hardly get you started. A computer class maybe good but if you fear being stupid attending a class where you have to be judged by others may not be the answer either.
The best way to learn is to have a person to teach you. Much like you got driving lessons way back then you may need the same hands on help to get started. About 12 years ago I decided to learn how to swim. I took several lessons and today I can swim a little. I rarely get an opportunity to practice but I can now be vertical in the water. It was hard and others in the group did way better than I did but I learned. I sometimes feel silly when I get in the water that someone may see I cannot really swim but when I get the opportunity I try.
None of us are born experts but need to learn everything. Why should age determine what we learn? Trust me computers are easier to learn at an older age than swimming is.
Hire a person to teach you not a friend or a family member. Someone who you can have access to ask questions down the road or who will formulate a way to teach you based on your needs not a teaching format.
With the right teacher you can learn to use what has now come to be part of everyday life. For more information contact me directly.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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