Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Technophobe or technogeek?

Most of my friends and family would probably be surprised that I have a blog. Ten years ago, I didn’t even have a computer! I guess I’ve come a long way, technologically speaking. Now I use all kinds of social media, the internet, and other “techy” tools, usually on my smart phone or tablet.  My husband works in a technology-driven field so in comparison to him, I’m pretty non-techno-savvy. But I do recognize the power and purpose of social media and technology. Speaking of my husband, we met on E-Harmony.com, so I guess that’s when I started to really use technology in a focused way.
Fear of technology is common. There’s even a name for it: technophobia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technophobia.  Many of the students I work with feel intimidated by computers, the internet, smart phones, and social media. Recently, I helped a student apply to SCC and witnessed how fear of technology and lack of computer skills can really be a stumbling block. But, I coached her through it and she successfully applied and registered for classes at SCC. Hopefully, that success allows her to be more willing to use technology, particularly as a student, because there are so many tools and resources just for students.
I also work with many students who are searching for a job but have never used LinkedIn.com.  They "don't like" social media sites in general, so they miss out on all of the great tools that LinkedIn has to offer.  I also have to remind many job searchers that having no online presence at all is most definitely not a good thing. Many employers will actually Google you before they offer you an interview!

If you’re reading this, you may not be a technophobe, but consider that many people are.  Where does this fear come from? Fear of the unknown? Fear of being replaced by robots? Fear of losing personal contact with other humans? For me, growing up in a home without a personal computer, technology was just not part of my world. Yes, I used computers in school and college, but only for writing papers. I did not really start using the internet until 2000. I never even took a computer class, so I think that part of my fear was just not feeling like I had the necessary skills. I have learned most of my computer skills through on-the-job training or self-teaching.

Fast-forward to 2013. I use LinkedIn daily to keep up to date with career, college, and job-related news and events. I update the Career Services Facebook fan page daily with tips for students on career exploration and job search. I use my personal Facebook page to keep in contact with friends and family across the United States. Pinterest is my new best friend. And now, I am an SCC blogger. I’m happy to be here, happy to be using technology in a way that connects people and shares information in a meaningful way…Twitter, here I come!