Don’t you love to laugh? I certainly do. I especially love to laugh at myself, and at some of my patterns of reluctance in trying new things. Just as I had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the world of martial arts, it was the same story with technology.
The truth is that just a year ago all I could do on a computer was check my email. I didn’t even know what a blog was, let alone imagine myself having one. I had no idea what Facebook was or why anyone would ever want to be on it. I spent two years traveling a lot, and in the airports I noticed how many people had their computers with them. I wondered why anyone would possibly want or need their computer. And almost everyone was actually using them. I would glance curiously at the people busily tapping away at their keyboards. Funny, I noticed many of them watching me as I worked my magic with my knitting needles. They were probably wondering how I managed to get them through security. Just as I wondered how all those computers got through.
My cell phone was a mystery to me. It’s a hand me down, so it is not exactly state of the art technology. But it was still above my level of understanding. I finally learned how to text two years ago because my youngest sister made me. I discovered that my phone had a “memory” and I could program frequently used numbers into an address book. Who knew? I found that nifty little tool while I was babysitting my niece and nephew. I took them to their baseball game, and entertained myself during lulls in the game by toying with my phone. After all, I ran out of conversation with the young Moms pretty quickly, and I noticed they all kept looking at their phones for some reason. Not wanting to look out of place (and cursing myself for not bringing my knitting), I kept glancing at my phone, too. Then I noticed they kept playing with the keys. Not wanting to be out done, I started playing with mine. Viola! I now had an address book full of names and numbers, even though it took a few days to learn how to retrieve them.
A year ago my marketing advisor set up a blog for me. I didn’t even know what a blog was, but I knew I didn’t want one. Notice how I made that call before I even discovered what a blog was. Fortunately my youngest sister explained it to me. She sure is smart. Then I found out my friend also set up a Facebook account for me. No, no….don’t do that. I didn’t even know what that meant, but I certainly didn’t want any part of it. This time all of my sisters tried to explain it to me. They sure are smart. I still didn’t get it, but I tried to look intelligent as I listened to them, even though I didn’t understand a word they said. Good thing I have so many sisters. I figured with enough repetition I would eventually get it. In the meantime, my inbox quickly filled up with friend requests. Uh-oh, now what do I do? I mean, if someone sends me an invitation, the polite thing to do is to reply to it, isn’t it? The problem is, I didn’t know how.
The point is, no matter how many times people tried to explain this world of technology to me, I just didn’t get it until I finally started playing with it on my own, with a sense of interest and curiosity. I discovered a lot more on my own than I ever could with someone else instructing me every step of the way. Did I make mistakes? Of course I did. But I sure did learn a lot. And once I let go of my belief system that I couldn’t possibly understand technology, my mind opened up to new learning experiences. Huh, sounds a lot like the Feldenkrais Method(R) and neuroplasticity, doesn’t it?
So, here I am, sitting at my computer with my cell phone next to me. I’m shooting texts back and forth between sentences. Every now and again I give myself a break and see what my Facebook friends are up to, even though I have a few files to download and I could be working on an important document. And I laugh at myself as I wonder what’s next around the corner. Perhaps one of those new fangled phones that actually take pictures, videos and can access my email. Maybe I’ll even learn how to copy and paste, a phrase I used to think was a cute reference to my kindergarten days. Oh, no, that was cut and paste, wasn’t it?
Be healthy, and stay curious!
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP