Do You Have Technology Power?

August 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Digital Space

This is a guest article by Helen Crozier. Thanks Helen!

Getting Power over TechnologyKnowledge is power and even a little goes a long way in the world of technology. How much technology power do you possess and could you do with more?

Technology – meaning computer equipment, gadgets, software, the internet and social networking sites – causes challenges even for the tech-savvy of us. Imagine what it is like for those whom technology is NOT second nature. I was trained to be a secretary then went to University in what now seems like the dark ages. This was my world – manual typewriters, carbon copies, Pittman’s shorthand, dictaphones, libraries, and hand-written essays. There was one landline per house for communication and if someone died you often received the news via telegram. Even travelling overseas in the mid-eighties the communication back to the Antipodes was postcards and if you were lucky you also might get a letter (a month out of date) at Poste Restante.

The speed at which technology has changed our lives is mind blowing and for me, very exciting. Technology, without a doubt if used effectively, will help you become more organised and help you save time and very often money. I am also certain that if used effectively you will find your relationships deepen because you are able to connect and share life events and thoughts more easily. Life may be enriched as you learn more about anything you are passionate about. Last but not least if you have a business there are limitless ways to promote and operate your business via the internet.

The technology that is around to do all of this strangely enough is not new and neither is the effect that it has on us. Six years ago a client gave me a copy of Get Organized in the Digital Age by Lucy Hedrick.

get-organisedTechnology is supposed to make our lives easier. But sometimes it seems all the beeping and buzzing just makes you crazier.

With sound, simple tips on how to choose the best in technology and use it to get the best out of life, this book helps readers get control – and turn technology into a source of sanity instead of a source of stress.

Why has this not become fact? The majority of new clients I meet are frustrated and confused and completely unaware of what is there that could help them. Listed below are a few of the  ‘objections’ I hear from many who seem to have almost given up.

“I’m a technophobe/luddite who’s left it too late. I think I was born in the wrong century”

Learning about all the new and exciting tools that can make life so much easier is not difficult at all and what’s more it really can be fun and quite liberating.

“I’m afraid of identity theft, hackers and viruses etc.”

Yes these things do happen online unfortunately. Last week a friend of mine rang me almost in tears because her Hotmail account had been hacked into. Unwittingly she had given her email address and password away by answering a hacker’s email. Her entire address book was then sent an email requesting money with a lame story saying she was at a conference in London and the victim of theft. The most devastating aspect of this story was that the lady could no longer get into her emails. Many years of correspondence with all her clients were in that account. It was also the only place she had stored email addresses!  The sad thing was that it might have been prevented if she had gathered just a little knowledge about online security and the very dirty tricks people get up to.

I would like to add that unpleasant things also occur offline. This week police arrested two key players in a multi-million-dollar identity fraud racket that had been stealing personal information from letterboxes in Sydney.

technology frustration

“I just don’t have time/money for all that”

Sometimes I have potential clients who are interested in spending an ‘an hour with me’ to learn about technology. I love passing on knowledge but have to explain that to get up to speed and stay up to speed you need to commit almost to a lifetime journey. One hour won’t give you quite enough knowledge to understand all there is about keeping safe online or setting up an online presence for your business. In a one hour teleclass for less than $50, however, you might be able to learn about half a dozen websites that will transform your life.

Not a lot of time and not a lot of money!

Here’s a sample list of five of my fave sites to boost your technology power.  Please excuse the funny names – I didn’t make them up!

  • Pingg –  a fabulous place to create, send and manage invitations to your personal and business events
  • Tungle – join this site for free and share your calendar with the world. When you send out requests to meet you are able to send several meeting times not just one which prevents email/phone tag as it synchronises to your calendar
  • Delicious – a vast online space where you can store thousands of bookmarks and tag them with words or descriptions that will make them easy to find.
  • Zen Habits – a fabulous low-tech advice blog with loads of articles on how to stay on top of all your ‘stuff’ – no technobabble
  • Pogues Posts – New York Times Technology Writer produces an article every Friday and it’s well worth a read – David Pogue has a great following and provides tech knowledge for the punter mixed with humour.

Ignorance may be bliss but I think having power is a much better place to be. If you think that technology isn’t your ‘bag’ just take it slowly. Try to learn something new every week. You will be amazed that it really isn’t so difficult after all and I promise you will see a self-esteem surge when you start to remember how to do what you have learned.


More about our guest author:

Helen Crozier tries to make IT (information technology) be everyone’s friend. She writes three technology blogs which may be found via www.helencrozier.com. Helen is also one of Sydney’s top tweeters – you can follow her at www.twitter.com/helencrozier

Comments

2 Responses to “Do You Have Technology Power?”
  1. karen says:

    Helen, thank you so much for helping us get a little more comfortable with technology. Of your five faves – I only know (and love) Zen Habits. Now all I need is more time to check out those other sites.

  2. Helen says:

    sometimes i do this little trick… i get the url of a site i want to investigate sometime and just put it in my outlook calendar at any time in the future with an ‘alarm’…. remember we will never get time to explore all the coolness on the web…. even knowing zenhabits is a great achievement in my opinion!