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It’s All Greek to Me: The importance of improving your technical prowess



While discussing the importance of embracing STEM fields with folks in our communities, I frequently hear the comment “I am just not technical”.

It is interesting to me that we have somehow reserved the term ‘technical’ for computers and technology. This term is not reserved for technology professionals. Everyone is technical at some vocation or occupation.

Everyone is technical at what they do for a living or what area of endeavor they possess knowledge. When it comes to technology and computers I am very technical.

When it comes to automotive repair or sculpting for example, I am not very technical. I bring this up for 2 reasons. The first reason is because I would like for us to recognize that we are technical at something, and any area that we are not it is simply a matter of learning, not some inherent inability to deal with computers or the Internet.

The other reason is that there is much more at stake in today’s digital society by not being technical when it comes to technology as opposed to not being technical in the area of sculpting or automotive repairs, as these areas have not permeated every facet of our lives. Having a lack of technical knowledge in those areas does not affect your ability to navigate society or earn a good income in the 21st century.

Anytime you are learning something new you have to come to grips with a new vocabulary. This is true of all professions. Doctors have their own language. Lawyers have their own language. Educators have their own language. Professionals of all walks of like have a language that they use to communicate with each when they are communicating with others in their profession.

If you are outside of the community you would not have an understanding of what any of these terms mean. But not knowing what the terms mean does not mean you don’t understand the concepts that are being discussed. You simply need to learn to decode or translate the language.

I decided to write this post based on my appearance on Bill Anderson’s Wake Up With Bill show last week. During the interview, a caller referenced a few ‘technical’ terms and Mr. Anderson remarked that he had no idea what we were discussing. That got me to thinking. What he really meant was that he was not familiar with the terms being used.

Here is the point I wish to make. This is not unique to a conversation of computers. We could have been talking about automotive repair or any other profession in which he was not familiar with the jargon and he would have the same issue. As would I or anyone.

There is nothing magical about technology terms. The concepts are based on science and math. The same science and math that you learned in high school. And certainly once you get past some the acronyms and abbreviations that are used in the industry it is easy to see that there is nothing magical about the terminology used by computer professionals.

We need not let these terms intimidate us. Once you look up a few terms that are frequently used it is easy to realize that what is being discussed is not all that complicated at all. Particularly when one realizes that most of these terms of simply made up out of thin air or they are simply abbreviations.

If you have teen-aged children, you are probably aware of the term ‘bff’. Almost every knows that bff is an abbreviation for best friend for life. Nothing intimidating or complicated about that. But how many are intimidated for example by the term ‘ISP’? ISP is simply an acronym for Internet Service Provider.

If you were having problems with your computer at home and a support person asked you who was your ISP you might me confused and intimidated, but If they simply asked who supplies you with your Internet connection you could easily reply Comcast or Time Warner. Most of the jargon surrounding technology is just that simple.

Don’t be intimidated by these terms and don’t proclaim that you are not technical. Chances are you are very technical at something. Please just recognize that technology is something new that has become crucial to learn.

You simply need to get started on that learning.


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