Still, something is missing and too many people are missing out. Missing out on being able to fully participate in a society that puts computers and the Internet front and center with everything from grocery shopping to dating. If people choose not to do certain things online that is fine, but having the choice means having more knowledge.
To me it seems that education is missing. There are lots of step-by-step instructions, some of which are excellent, but the kind of technology education that helps people develop a basic knowledge base for them to build on as they confront new situations is missing in the lives of too many people. Without it, without the skills and decision making abilities to be an effective computer and Internet user, too many people are missing out on the potential of our times.
I cannot even count the times different people have asked me “How would I know to do that? How did you know where to look for an answer? What am I supposed to do when something goes wrong and there is no one to ask? Why doesn’t this make any sense…”
Some people I talk to, who may even use computers enough to get by, are almost paralyzed by a nagging sense of failure that whispers “you need to catch up.” A Herculean task for sure. Catching up is so hard to imagine it is no wonder so many people feel anxious and unable to make a coherent start.
The good news is—no one can catch up in the sense of knowing all there is to know about technology these days. It is good news and it is liberating. We don’t have to catch up, we just need to understand how to meet our needs, stay safe, and take advantage of living in a digital world. Easy to say, but difficult to do. Much like getting in a car for a trip without a map, cell phone, spare tire, or any clue how to drive. You can do it, but it would be less stressful with some basic preparations. Think of this blog as a place for some practical driving help—including skills and strategies, useful talk, roadblock warnings, and a map or three.
So I hope that you will join me here to talk a useful talk. I don’t imagine that the topics will be revolutionary for the knowledgeable. What I hope instead is to have a different kind of conversation with people on all stages of their journey. To talk with people who want to learn and share knowledge, who are interested in benefiting from the gift of accessible information on the internet, and who are motivated to empower themselves by learning how to make the most of it.