The Importance of Having Patience When Learning Technology
Let’s face it. Technology can be frustrating at times. It can look so easy when someone else is doing something in a YouTube video, but when you sit down to do it yourself, it’s not quite that simple.
For example, you can sit down to make an Excel spreadsheet to graph your budget, and none of the charts come out the way they showed in a tutorial. You try to set up email stationery in Gmail, and can’t get the background to show the way it looks on a webpage.
Like anything else, technology can be incredibly useful, and at the same time take some time and patience to use properly.
“Smartphone” and “automated” don’t mean that an application magically knows what you want and does it all for you. It takes some preparation and time to learn a program to become proficient at various tasks.
Sometimes, just learning one tip, like how to change a margin, can completely change your experience in a program from frustration to accomplishment. The problem is that many people don’t have the patience to plan out what they are doing and to learn the software and how to use it.
Have a Plan & Learn to Get the Outcome You Want
Just like any other activity, such as growing vegetables or putting up wallpaper, you need to take the time to plan and research what you’re doing before you just jump in and expect everything to come out perfect with technology.
For example, imagine if you planned to grow a vegetable garden, but did no planning. Instead, you just threw all your different vegetable seeds out into the yard and covered them with a little dirt. Then waited and thought Mother Nature would take it from there.
You’d likely be disappointed with not much to show come harvest time. That’s why most gardeners will start with research on the vegetables they plan to grow. They’ll look up planting seasons how much sun and water are needed, and which ones grow best next to each other. Each growing season, they get better.
You need to have that same approach and patience when learning any type of technology. Give yourself time to learn about the device, online app, or software. Grab a tutoring class for some personalized training. Then plan out in the platform what you want to get out of it before you just jump in.
Even those experts that make everything look so easy didn’t just sit down at the keyboard and have everything work perfectly on their first go. They learned tricks over time to do what they needed to do.
Learning technology takes time, so be kind to yourself. It’s not just you. There are a lot of factors that make technology a learning process.
Reasons That Technology Requires Patience
We’ve Been Tricked by “Instant Gratification”
Remember when you used to think nothing of waiting for a letter in the mail from a business in response to an inquiry? Or wait a day or two for a fax response from a colleague in another office at work?
Now, if someone doesn’t respond within an hour or two via email or text, they’re being “pinged” again and asked for a reply.
Our world has become binge-watching all shows in a series instead of waiting each week for a new one. That 2-day delivery from Amazon has also spoiled society at large and reduced our willingness to wait.
These things have caused what is known as a desire for instant gratification. Technology is ruining our patience, in other words.
According to research at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, technology has shortened our ability to wait, even just a few seconds, to get what we want. The study looked at the internet viewing habits of 6.7 million internet users. The average time that people were willing to wait for a website page to fully load was 2 seconds. (Two seconds!!!)
After 5 seconds, 25% of the people stopped waiting and moved on. Then after 10 seconds 50% of the people moved on. Just think back to the early days of the internet when all we had was dial-up. Waiting 20 minutes for a download was standard in many cases.
Applications Have a LOT of Settings & Controls
There is no way that a person could instantly know all the settings and controls in an application like Microsoft Excel, Word, Facebook, or Gmail. These programs are complex and allow you to do many things, but it takes time to learn your way around.
You shouldn’t expect yourself to instantly know how to do everything, because even those who consider themselves “tech-savvy” take time to learn the features and controls of a new app first before they dive into it.
You Get a Better Outcome When You Do It Right the First Time
When taking the time to do things right, you get a better outcome. This is true in many things in life, and for working in technology as well. When you just dive in and things start going wrong, it just leads to frustration. It’s like you’re setting yourself up to fail because you haven’t given yourself a chance.
Have some patience with technology and with yourself. The mastery will come, it just takes a little time and practice, like anything else.
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