Yesterday I went skiing. For those who've never skied with me, it's probably worth mentioning ... apparently I’m not the best skier on the slopes. In fact, I'm pretty bad. Well, really bad. I know this because almost every person I’ve ever skied with has offered me a steady stream of suggestions for improvement. Repeatedly. Exhaustively. The thing is, when I ski alone, I feel like my technique may be almost as picturesque as those expert skiers, wearing the latest sportswear, who effortlessly and gracefully glide down the mountain as though they were starring in some sort of snow ballet. You know them, they're the people who look happy, healthy, refreshed, and even have great hair when they take off their hats at the end of the day. I skied alone all afternoon and felt like I was really good. It was fun.
I also spent a fair amount of time thinking about why I enjoy skiing given that I’m no good at it. The list was pretty long.
Yesterday was the first mid-week skiing I’ve done outside of a Spring Break in ages, and maybe ever. The crowd is older, the lines are shorter (or non-existent), and the pace is a little slower. I fit in better. Or at least I feel like I do. Yesterday's experience led to a lunch conversation with my husband about perception and reality. If you feel like you ski well (even if you don’t), are you having any less fun than people who really do ski well? Many people must think that the answer is yes, because so many of them are so eager to help me improve. But there is no denying the fact that it is possible to have a great day on the slopes even if you are a pretty bad skier. I have proven this to be true :)
Thinking about ski frustrations and fun, of course got me to thinking about Tech Frustrations. And it had me comparing them with ski frustrations. It made me realize that when I get frustrated with technology, I’m often in a hurry and/or being helped by someone who knows way more than I do about how something works. I’m surrounded by these people, and I can also be one of these people. When I understand something inside and out, I can get so excited about it that I want to share my knowledge (and enjoyment) with others to get them up to speed as quickly as possible. (This must be how skiers feel when they’re around me.)
If you experience a Tech Frustration, and have the time to slow down, I suggest you give yourself permission to explore, learn, and enjoy … at your own pace. I've learned that Google can answer almost as many questions as "the experts". You simply enter your question; for example, “How do I reset the time on my Samsung Galaxy phone?” You'll usually receive a number of pointers to helpful information. YouTube may even provide you with a video showing step-by-step instructions.
The bottom line is that you don’t need to be tech savvy to enjoy tech products. As I mentioned previously, you don’t need to use every feature of a product to put it to good use. Some features may not be designed for a user like you. If you’re able to slow down, go at your own pace, explore functionality on your own terms, and enjoy the view, you may be able to eliminate a lot of Tech Frustrations.