Technology is everywhere. We all have access to cell phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. But not everybody is comfortable in using technology, specifically computers. How is one to overcome their fear of learning how to use a computer?
Once you commit to becoming a learner, absorbing everything you can about the computer field, you will find yourself teaching others what you have learned, gaining an abundance of confidence, and as a result, your fear of computers will naturally dissipate.
People are not afraid of computers because they think the computer will electrocute them or bite them. They are afraid of computers because they find them intimidating.
Perhaps when you grew up, you didn’t have easy access to a computer. Maybe you are of a generation when computers were not a part of every day life when growing up. It could be that your career path never required interaction with a computer. Regardless of the reason, today you find computers intimidating. That’s OK. You are not alone. But there is hope.
In this article, I am going to show you five different things that you can do to overcome your fear of computers. I promise, that if you follow my advice, you will no longer fear the computer. On the contrary, you will look forward using the computer and exploring all it offers. You just might be surprised in discovering all that you can do once you learn how to use a computer.
It’s Never Too Late
Before we begin, I want to address those of you who believe that you are too old or not capable of learning how to use a computer. That simply is not true. In fact, your background has nothing to do with your ability to learn how to use a computer. Where grew up and under what circumstances you grew up under, have no bearing on whether or not you should start learning how to use a computer today.
If you are to accomplish anything in life, you must first believe that you are capable of obtaining that goal. With everything I’ve got, I want to encourage you to go for it. You can do this, and I’m going to help you come to that conclusion by the end of this article.
Commit to Becoming a Learner
Before you can learn anything about a given subject, you first have to commit to becoming a learner. Why? Because learning is not fun all the time. For example, take the kid who wants to become an NBA basketball star. Although I am sure that he envisions one day throwing that three point shot with one less than one second left on the clock in game six of the NBA finals, the reality is that he didn’t get there overnight. It will take him years of practice, even when he does not want to, with a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to that one moment in time. In other words, pain is a good teacher, and you must embrace her if you are to succeed. That is what I mean when I say that you must commit to becoming a learner.
Somebody who is committed to learning, will do everything they can to absorb as much information for the purpose of understanding the subject in question, even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts. In fact, more growth occurs when you push through the pain. Just how committed are you to become a learner?
Read All You Can About Computers
You probably fit into one or two categories. You either already have a computer but are afraid to use it, or you do not have a computer at all. Let’s address each scenario.
For Those Who Know a Little About Computers
For a moment, let’s assume that you do have access to a computer and you want to learn how to use it without having to ask a family member what to do or how get to a particular website on the internet. If you got this far on your own, you are not doing too bad. After all, you somehow managed to find your way to this article on the internet.
You should read through all of the articles here on this website that interest you. The objective of this website is to write in-depth articles that anticipate questions you may ask on any given topic related to computers. Most of our articles will either offer step-by-step instructions on how to complete a given task, or provide detailed tips on how to accomplish a given task.
Additionally, I would recommend that you visit Amazon.com and purchase the book entitled, “Computers For Seniors For Dummies, 4th Edition”, by Nancy C. Muir.
For Those Who Know Nothing About Computers
If you do not know how to turn on a computer and search the Internet to find out about how to use a computer, there are other ways you can find reading resources. For example, you could visit your local library. I am quite certain that your public library has a ton of resources available to you. In fact, they may even have classes that you can attend where people will take time to show you how to use one of their computers, but you will need to inquire of your Librarian to confirm.
You can also visit your local Barnes and Noble and pick up a computer magazine off the rack, or ask a salesperson to show you where to find the book called, “Computers For Seniors For Dummies, 4th Edition”, by Nancy C. Muir. Don’t let the title put you off. It’s a great introduction for anybody who wants to know how to use a computer.
For some of you, reading about computers may be even more intimidating than trying to figure out how to use a computer on your own, so if that is you, not to worry, read on to our third suggestion listed below.
Ask Your Kids (or Grandkids), to Teach You One New Thing About the Computer
These days, computers are everywhere. In fact, if your kids (or grandkids), are under 25 years old, they don’t know what it means NOT to have computers as a something that is an every day part of their life. Computers are second nature to them.
Take advantage of what they know. Ask them if they would be willing to teach you one thing about computers. Tell them upfront that you were not looking for them to spend an hour teaching you, but rather three minutes. Below is a list of conversation starters that I have put together for you to ask them. There is no shame in not knowing something. Let them know upfront that you truly want to know and ask them to be patient with you for three minutes as they explain the meaning of the following.
- What is Software?
- What is Hardware?
- What is a Monitor?
- How does a computer talk to a printer without being connected to it?
- What is Bluetooth?
- What is the Internet?
- What is an Ethernet Cable?
- What is Dial-up? (Ask your adult children, your Grandchildren will have no idea)
- What is the difference between a PC and a Mac?
- How do you watch movies on a computer?
These are just some sample questions that you might want to ask them. He also just may want to listen to whatever they have to say about computers after you let them know that you wanna learn about them. There is an awful lot that they can teach you if you will just listen and be patient with them.
The Three Minute Rule
Now again, limit yourself to three minutes. Don’t take advantage of their time, or they may not want to teach you in the future. If you make it a point to limit their explanation to three minutes, whether they are done or not, they will respect you for it and won’t have any problem answering your computer related question the next time they see you. Just keep it to three minutes.
Take a Class at the Local Community College
Every community college on the planet will offer a class called, “An Introduction to Computers” (or a similar title to that). Call your local community college and ask them if they have such a class and let them know that you would like to sign up for the class.
One of the great things about taking a class on computers out of community college is that you meet other people who are in the same boat. You will find them as a source of encouragement, and you too, will be able to encourage them as they make progress through the class.
Take Notes and Read Them
Given the subject matter, the instructor will almost certainly be very patient and understanding. It is very important that you take thorough notes during class, even if you don’t understand the concepts or terminology being taught. Make it a point to go over those notes before the next class meets, and be sure to ask your professor any questions you may have, at the end of each class so that you can absorb all that was taught.
Frame that Certificate!
After successfully completing that class, regardless of how many session were taught. Frame that Baby! Tell your friends and family and celebrate your success! Make a big deal out of it because it is a big deal. When your friends and family see how excited you are to have received a certificate of completion, they will encourage you to continue your education. And don’t stop there. Sign up for the next computer class to expand you knowledge even more.
Teach Someone What You Have Learned
Sharing a concept that you have learned with someone else solidifies the concept in your own mind. It has been said that you haven’t learned anything until you have taught someone else what you have learned. That is so true.
If you read an article that you found very interesting and learn something from her share what you have learned with a friend who knows that you are trying to learn about computers. You will find it as you share what you have learned, they will become a source of encouragement to you.
Not only will you find encouragement, but you will find great confidence. In fact, the more opportunities that you take to either teach people or share what you have learned, the more confident you will become. I’m not referring to an arrogant confidence, but rather a confidence that develops because you become convinced of what you have been taught. Even a little bit of confidence can cause exponential growth.
Knowing how to overcome your fear of learning the computer is the real issue at hand. You have been given a strategy in how to overcome this fear, and if you follow through with the steps provided in this article, there is no question that you will succeed in overcoming this fear, because you will gain confidence in teaching others the concepts that you yourself have learned.
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