I used to be like you…actually if you are reading this online, on a computer, I wasn’t like you, however if you have a friend cowering in the corner, afraid of the ghostly light of the screen, if you have a friend that watched ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ one too many times as a child and now is mistrustful of all technology (regardless of whether it has creepy vocal intonations) I was that friend.
It’s not that I don’t understand the incredible power and opportunity technology affords us, but I find it hard to understand or reason with something that doesn’t have a face! I enjoy human contact, you can’t charm a computer, binary code does not rhyme!
My transformation from luddite to cautious enthusiast has been tricky at times, often I would get confused in a conversation about ‘tech’ and just shout the word ‘motherboard’ over and over again until everyone stopped asking questions. After years of repeatedly asking friends questions like ‘what is a Copy shortcut?’ (Cntrl+C by the way) or working the word ‘megapixel’ unnaturally into conversation (without having any idea of what it meant) I finally decided to learn ‘Internet’. The first important lesson I learned was to stay calm, if someone asks your opinion on Ubuntu they are probably NOT trying to hex you (that’s hex the curse, not hex the base-16 number system, am I right!), you CAN ask questions, this was a revelation to me!
Techies WANT to help you (sure they might judge you a little but this is more about them than you so don’t worry) and I also found out that the best you can do while learning was to ‘make mistakes’ and by god was I a natural at this. You couldn’t stop me making mistakes, for the first time I was gifted at something! Then after a few months out of this primordial soup of ignorance crawled a man who can update software without visually perspiring, he can upload, reconfigure and modify with ease!
If you just keep asking questions you eventually start knowing things, which is initially disconcerting but ultimately feels good, like gradually getting into a too hot bath. Now when I type into a password box and it replaces letters with little circles, I don’t assume it is witchcraft. I am slowly becoming one of them.