Technology Heartburn? Adapt and Learn

Can you imagine the horror? The year was 1916 and the world was about to change forever. Instead of using the sensible pocket watch to tell time, Europeans were wearing “bracelets with clocks on them”.  A critic in the New York Times called it a “silly ass fad” and wrote, “Until recently the bracelet watch has been looked upon by Americans as more or less of a joke.”

The silly ass fad, however, had taken hold—and for reasons more convincing than fashion. Solders in World War I discovered that by the time they could pull a pocket watch out of their pockets, checking the hour of the day was the least of their problems. Silly ass fad or not, wristwatches saved lives.

Don’t kick that wireless printer to the curb

Fear of technology initially was based on the idea that technology would control us like some evil force. Wristwatches were just one of countless advancements resisted by skeptics. Telephones and televisions were similarly believed to be the work of the devil.

Technology fears today are more likely based on the idea that new technology causes stress. You know the signs: in the midst of a technology meltdown, you threaten to dissect your laptop and feed it to a recycling depot or you take a public oath never to update your software again.

Such hissy fits are usually short-lived. Researchers tell us that humans are actually pretty good at adapting and learning. In fact, the very act of adapting and “muddling through,” actually makes us more resilient to stress. As noted by a recent study at the Pew Research Center and Rutgers University, “…humans have repeatedly proven quite good at adapting to technological change, even when it entails some heartburn along the way.”

Expect some indigestion along the way

Like most of our clients, Black Tulip has had its share of “technology heartburn”. In spite of it all, our team has learned how to use technology for everything from holding meetings (Skype) to how we provide bookkeeping services (see “Dorothy is Retiring”).

We are passing along our tips in hopes they protect you from the inevitable indigestion when you face your next technology challenge.

  • Knowledge is power. Talk with others, check out reviews on line, ask which tech solutions work.
  • Know your limits. If you’ve spent an entire weekend without sleep or food trying to set up your mail account, hire an expert!
  • Move by steps not leaps. Do not attempt it all at once! Learn one new tech trick a day, or a week.
  • Stay in control. You control technology: It doesn’t control you. Keep this attitude and you’ll stay in charge.
  • Reality check: Next time you find yourself cursing something new, think about some of the “advancements” over the past century, starting with your own wristwatch. Then ask yourself, how bad could the change really be?

What gives you “technology heartburn?” Tell us about it!