Not that long ago, I was contemplating starting my blog. I was dutifully writing my business plan and taking an in-depth course to make certain it would be a viable business. Yep, I am organized and disciplined like that. However, there was this 800-pound gorilla in the room I was ignoring, building, and maintaining my website. Gulp! My stomach would tighten every time I thought about it. Looking forward to it as much as a root canal. At that point, I would have given my tech-savviness a low grade, indeed.
It seems, with each year that passes, I’ve gotten braver about trying new things, but not technology. I resist it. For example, I put off opening a Facebook account as long as possible, and I am not sure how to use the camera on my iPhone sufficiently. If you are like me, you have relied on the tech wizards to save you from digital disaster. And I’m certain they just loved fixing your problems, right? Fortunately, I’ve discovered other resources available to reluctant learners and late bloomers. Here are the five super easy ways to boost your tech-savviness:
1. YouTube Videos:
YouTube.com is my go-to for computer and website issues because I need visuals to comprehend instructions of a technical nature. It’s difficult for me to follow a technician’s direction over the phone. Frankly, it fries my brain. With YouTube videos, I can pause when necessary and proceed at the pace I want until the task is complete.
With technology, you’re going to want to filter your search on YouTube. I don’t bother with anything older than one year. Although, I suppose it could be nostalgic to watch a tutorial about flip phones from 2007, but not relevant. I also look for a good thumbs up to thumbs down ratio, so I know it’s informative and high quality. However, most videos don’t have many viewer ratings when they’re new. Below is an example of an instructional YouTube video on how to start a subscription box business.
2. Read All About It:
You’re saying you don’t need images or videos to broaden your skillset or graduate from digital ninja school. All you require are daily or weekly posts to keep you in the know. Lucky for you, the web is packed with quality articles from trusted tech blogs, each with a different personality.
- Women Love Tech blends product and app reviews with industry news and tips about social media.
- Mashable mixes tech, social media, and entertainment into a bit of a “tech stew” that is quite digestible.
- Gizmodo is funny and snarky and caters to a youngish audience.
- TechCrunch profiles startups and up-and-coming companies and reviews products.
- Girl About Tech offers how-to articles, buying advice, and product reviews.
- Social Media Examiner brings you the latest news about platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
3. Take A Class or Two:
Maybe you’re not intimidated by technology, but your skills are questionable. Your friends have shown you amazing pictures or movies produced on their devices while you take ho-hum photos that impress no one. Family members share messages, invitations, and calendar events with ease while you struggle with the same. Coworkers create presentations quickly, and you find it difficult to compete. Well, there’s an easy solution to those dilemmas.
Several large retailers offer free or inexpensive courses for their smartphones, tablets, cameras, and laptops. The Apple Store holds classes for all experience levels on Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, photography, videography, iCloud, and Keynote presentation software. Verizon offers Wireless Workshops for Android, iPhone, and tablets.
4. AARP TEK:
Most of you who are fifty or older are familiar with AARP and its services. Did you know the company has an online education program called AARP Academy that can boost your tech-savviness to new heights? Best of all, the courses provided are free and available to all ages. Most of the training is targeted at novices and newbies. However, the number of videos and webinars accessible is impressive.
Not surprisingly, there are standard classes on social media, tablets, and smartphones. AARP also offers courses about online safety, including wifi, email, and passwords. Interestingly, the company also promotes informational webinars on topics like medical apps, wearable health devices, and on-demand access to medical experts. Pretty thorough.
5. Listen Up:
Okay, so you’re not into watching videos or reading posts (except mine, of course). I get it; you’re an auditory learner, also known as a good listener. Perhaps a few weekly podcasts will pique your interest and raise your tech IQ. Plus, you can enjoy them in the car, which is not recommended for blog readers. Here is a sampling of a few great shows:
- TedTalks Technology is exactly what you think it is. Speakers give inspirational and informative talks about research and breakthroughs in tech. Think of it as an uplifting, educational, and perhaps geeky speech.
- This Week In Tech is a popular, long-running show with roundtable discussions about trends, the latest products, and new technologies.
- Rocket is hosted by three clever ladies who focus their energetic conversations on books, movies, games, comics, and a litany of other topics.
So, there you have; the list of 5 easy ways to boost your tech-savviness. These resources will improve your digital skills in no time at all. You might even be entertained along the way. Perhaps you have suggestions on how I might take my game to the next level. I would love to know. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below