Learning To Be A Tinker: Getting Over Your Fear Of Technology

Since I have had memories, I can remember tinkering with things. Lincoln Logs (right?! How awesome were those?), Erector Sets, television cables, stereo equipment-- I just love to tinker. Taking stuff apart, seeing what makes it work, how it goes together, putting it back. I never really had a fear of breaking any of it, I just assumed that I could always, well, figure it out.

Stuff has gotten a little more complicated since my childhood. But that drive I had to mess with stuff never went away, and I'm glad it didn't, because it really comes in handy with today's technology.

Using a computer can be a scary proposition: software updates, product compatibility, device syncing, calendar integration-- the amount of seemingly endless tasks continue to pile up. And I understand, I really do, how it can seem that one errant click here, or a system crash there can just ruin everything. Out of this arises a feeling, an instinct, to leap away from your computer or iPad when you think you've messed it up, much like yanking your hand from a hot stove.

This is a disastrous attitude. Nothing good will come from leering at your tech with a distrustful gleam in your eye.

Take a deep breath. Repeat after me: I Can Always Undo What I Just Did. Feel better? Good. Now, just go play with whatever device is sitting in front of you. Sift through the menus and system settings. Practice multitouch gestures, so you know what happens when you accidentally use one in the middle of writing that big report. Press delete, then undo it. Tinker.

Technology truly becomes your greatest ally when you stop being afraid of it. Only then will you actually want to use it, as opposed to just needing it.

Subscribe to the TechBlog by Email
Posted on April 5, 2012 .