Teaching Technology to Luddites (Those Who Resist Technology)
Technology has touched every aspect of our lives. Conducting our daily affairs now requires at least a working knowledge of technology. For example, VCRs used to be the most challenging device that most people encountered. Yet today, something as crucial as your glucose monitor may now demand some technological know-how. There’s no denying that technology has streamlined our society. Think how much more convenient it is to check in at an airline kiosk instead of waiting in line.
But new technology has also widened the gap between techies and non-techies. Those dependent on technology-based communication display damaged social skills. And those who prefer face-to-face communication encounter slower responses and longer waits. One side craves immediacy, while the other desires contemplation. Often, this is an age-based battle—but not always. There are elderly techies and youthful Luddites.
We refer to technology resisters as “Luddites” because their views resemble those of the 19th century British group that opposed mechanizing the textile industry. However, this fact remains: technology will play a progressively greater role in our lives. So, how can you help today’s Luddites? Here are some thoughts:
- Try to Understand Why They Resist
For many, it’s a fear of looking stupid. It’s human nature to oppose change—especially radical change that makes us feel incompetent. Resistance may also stem from disdain for technology’s cultural influence or people associated with technology.
- Tell Them What’s In It For Them.
Start at the result, and work backward. Explain what they’ll be able to do if they learn a new device or program. For example, if they learn to use Microsoft Teams, they can video chat with a faraway friend or relative for free.
- Help Them Overcome Their Fears
Let them know they’re not alone: many people struggle with technology. Help them understand that with proper precautions, they can avoid scams. Assure them they’re smart enough to use a new device. Help them focus on the steps to success. And don’t overburden them with options and decision trees. Instead, encourage them to make their own checklists and step-by-step guides.
- Help Them Get Started
The most challenging part of any endeavor is the first step. Getting started with technology can be overwhelming—even for the adventurous. So, in the beginning, keep things simple. Correctly install the necessary equipment for them. Teach them only what they need to know while bypassing the bells and whistles.
- Don’t Just Tell Them; Show Them
Most people learn more quickly by seeing technology in action. So, first, explain the features and then demonstrate. Next, let them try. Then, help them when they struggle, and provide understandable explanations.
Following these five tips will promote success in your most technology-resistant Luddites. So, be patient. Put yourself in their position and then celebrate their success.