Become Tech Savvy is a series designed for anyone who wants to learn how to use technology with confidence, ease, and minimal frustration, as well as those who want to help someone else with technology. No matter your age, experience, background, or current skills, this series will provide a unique strategy for mastery.

For the already tech savvy and IT folks, this will be a helpful resource to share while supporting others as we’ll deconstruct the big barriers that keep people from becoming tech savvy. Follow along for why anyone can and should become tech savvy and why this series is unique.

Intro for the already tech savvy

Odds are good that like me, you’re the go-to tech support for your friends, family, and colleagues or maybe you even do it for a living. While it can be fun and rewarding to help out, it can also be difficult and frustrating, especially depending on how many people regularly need your help. Some of the challenges include remembering what it’s like to not have the skills and knowledge you do, fitting it in your schedule, supporting remotely, and repeatedly helping with the same issues.

Over the last ten years as a teacher in public schools, working at Apple, and writing at 9to5Mac, I’ve pieced together the unique attributes that separate the tech savvy from those that aren’t. Like what allows a 90-year-old to have fun with tech and use it confidently? – How does a 50-year-old convince themselves they’ll always be tech-illiterate? – or what’s behind people in their 20’s who don’t know what a backup is and are often frustrated with technology?

The root problem for frustrated users is not a lack of information. Derek Sivers nails this – “If information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”

To help others become tech savvy we need to help them look at their mindset, transform limiting beliefs, and then scaffold their experience and exposure with an effective strategy. I’m excited to share this series with you and hope it improves the lives of those around you as well as your own!

Intro for those who want to become tech savvy

If you’ve decided to become tech savvy, cheers! Feeling confidence and ease with tech is a very useful goal and will positively impact your life in many ways. If you’re still unsure that you really can or even want to, read on below for why you absolutely can and should become tech savvy.

The most important part as you head toward becoming tech savvy is to focus on your own goals and the process. Don’t focus on the idea of learning it all at once or thinking about everything you can’t do (the design of this series will help you take it one step at a time). Also, try not to be distracted or frustrated by others’ abilities, comparison is often the thief of joy.

We’re all knowledgeable and ignorant, just on different subjects. The goal is sustainable, steady growth, no matter the pace or where you’re starting from (think 1% better every day).

Why you should become tech savvy

Like all inventions, technology provides the potential for immense benefits as well as many problems (or opportunities). These problems can make us feel frustrated, angry, disappointed, discouraged, etc. The great news is that we can eliminate most of those frustrations.

I define being tech savvy as the ability able to use technology with confidence, ease, and minimal frustration. That may seem difficult now, but this series will guide you to tech savvy mastery as we deconstruct roadblocks and the best ways to approach learning this skill.

The two biggest benefits to using tech confidently are:

  • To make creating, sharing, playing, and working efficient and fun. Every day our lives are more intertwined with technology. From ordering food to staying in touch with family to running a business or being an educator, technology is integrated into everything and will only keep increasing.
  • When you become skilled with tech you save lots of time, which allows you to focus more energy on your priorities and enjoy life more.

Why you can become tech savvy

“I’m technologically illiterate” and “I’m too old to learn this stuff” are shared with a somber laugh by many people I’ve worked with. Sadly, the false idea that these things are unchangeable have become a given for many people. The trick is to change these narratives with questions like, “why wouldn’t I be able to improve my skills?”, “I’ve learned lots of new things before, what would stop me now?”, or “why would I be too old to learn?”

These questions reveal why such limiting ideas have become so popular, they give people an out. If you believe you can’t, it removes any reason to try. There is nothing inherently wrong with believing you can’t do something or deciding to keep on as un-tech savvy (or staying ignorant on any subject matter), but it is a choice, not a life sentence.

If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. – Jim Rohn

Now that we’ve deconstructed some of the limiting beliefs that hold us back, we can ask a better question, “how are our choices helping us meet our goals?” Seth Godin cuts to the chase with this quote, “Of course your behavior is justifiable. That’s not the question. The question is, “is it helping?”

It’s that simple, what do you want your behaviors to help you do? If you want to learn something new, you may need to adopt a new mindset that sets you free from past limitations. Existing beliefs often hold us back, but if you start looking for evidence that will support why you can be successful and learn whatever you want, you’ll find it.

Why this series is unique

Most tech resources are dense manual style books or articles online like isolated Q&A’s or how-to’s. These resources can help you learn how to do a specific task, but are usually not an effective way to master the overall skill of using tech with confidence and ease.

Here’s the foundation of this series – why it’s unique and also why it can help you become tech savvy no matter where you’re starting from:

  • Growth mindset: Finding a productive state of mind is the greatest factor in your success.
  • Transform unhelpful beliefs: Learn how to start telling helpful stories about yourself, your abilities, and goals instead of limiting ones.
  • 80/20 Principle: Jumpstart your progress by learning what 20% of things to focus on to give you 80% of the results you’re after.
  • A strategy that works: Get results as we deconstruct the why-to’s and how-to’s. We’ll show you the best ways to build your experience and exposure and implement deliberate practice.

Next Steps

Alright, that’s my pitch on why tech savviness is highly valuable and totally achievable. If you’ve made your mind up that you can and will become tech savvy and reap the all awesome benefits (or want to help someone else through this), here’s what’s next!

The Become Tech Savvy series will be organized into the following sections:

  • Background, Expectations, & Best Practices
    This portion will cover the what and why with the best ways to understand and think about a given topic.
  • Do This
    This is section will include the how-to in compressed directive form. This section will efficiently and effectively build your skills with deliberate practice. You can even have fun with this with your friends, family, kids, etc. by making a game or challenge out of it.
  • Troubleshooting
    Some articles in this series will include this section to address common issues and provide solutions.

Alright, here is the first Do This:

  • Open the application ‘Pages’ on an Apple device and choose a new blank document (or other word processor of your choice).
  • Copy and paste the questions below and fill in your answers (highlight the questions with your cursor, right-click and select copy, right-click in new doc and select paste. Or, on the keyboard use command + C for copy and command + V for paste).
  • You can even keep the same doc as a Become Tech Savvy journal and keep adding to it as you go (paper could work too, but not encouraged).

1. What programs or applications do you use frequently and are most important to you?

2. What applications do you feel confident using now?

3. What do you enjoy doing the most with tech?

4. What would you like to learn or what do you see others doing that’s interesting?

5. What possibility excites you most and what frustrates you most about technology?

6. Share these answers with someone and let them know why you want to become tech savvy! Make a plan to check in with this person/people regularly to keep them updated and get support and feedback.

Next article: If you truly want to improve, you’ll need this…

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