April 20

Conquering Your Fear of Technology

Conquering Your Fear of Technology

By Deborah Johnson

April 20, 2024

artificial intelligence, curiosity, entrepreneur, Fear, lifelong learning, tech tools, tech-savvy, technology

For many, the term "technology" evokes a sense of ominous fear, particularly as advancements seem to occur at warp speed. This fear is especially relevant for individuals at mid-career who may be considering a change. The fear of being replaced by technology, particularly by artificial intelligence (AI), is a valid concern. However, it's essential to consider historical context and parallels in our nation's history.

Reflecting on our past, we can draw inspiration from the transition from horse-drawn transportation to automobiles. Rotary and dial-up phones to cell phones. In fact, I used to watch my own grandmother use her wringer washing machine. She would turn the pair of rollers by hand to squeeze the excess water from the clothes after washing. For her, it was a wonderful advancement from hours spent handwashing and scrubbing clothes. There are many other examples we can approach.

Join us as we delve deeper into the parallels between historical technological advancements and the challenges we face today. Through insightful details and real-life examples, we'll uncover strategies for overcoming the fear of technology and embracing opportunities for personal and professional growth in today's tech-driven world. I’ve also included in the article links to an additional podcast interview with Mark Herschberg who is not only tech-savvy with a number of patents and inventions but has created an app that you’ll want to check out. I have also included a few links to some of my favorite tech tools at the end of the article.

Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Conquering Your Fear of Technology with Deborah Johnson 4-23-2024
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Tip One: Face the Fear with Facts

Even in communities like the Amish, where traditional practices are upheld, the integration of modern tools like farm equipment has enhanced productivity without sacrificing core values. Wooden plows may still be in use, but the adoption of modern farming techniques has made tasks like plowing and harvesting more efficient and economically viable.

Only the oldest among us will remember the laundresses, meter readers, telephone operators and the secretarial school. But all those jobs have been replaced with other jobs. I don’t think twice when I do multiple loads of laundry, scan my credit card for a parking meter or text a family member on my cell phone. New jobs were created to fix our washing machines, check the computer for parking violations and proofread speech to text articles and notices.

There is an interesting report from the WEF (World Economic Form) that forecasts the shifts in the job market due to AI. These are statistics that might happen: 83 million jobs lost and 69 million created. This looks like a net loss of 14 million jobs, but there will mostly be a transformation in how work is done. Robots aren’t going to take over our world. We still need humans to invent new products and entrepreneurs to sell and promote them! To better prepare ourselves, we have to be willing to spend time expanding our knowledge and our use of technology. According to a Deliotte survey of over 2,800 leaders, most are focused on improving efficiency and productivity with AI, reducing costs and improving existing products and services.

Tip Two: Be Willing to Spend Time with Tech

Some of the time spent with technology will feel like it’s wasted time, but that’s a part of the process. I’m not sure how many hours I’ve spent on recording and production equipment that wasn’t working. It’s frustrating! Usually it came down to one control I had either forgotten to set or wasn’t aware of. I have learned to take good notes because I know there will come a time when I’m stuck again, and many times with the same issue.

A lot of the learning process includes a mindset that’s willing to not only spend time but waste time. Many of us are so busy that we tend to get more and more frustrated with anything that doesn’t immediately work. This is the time to walk away for awhile then come back to the project or tech tool. Part of this process may be getting some help or doing some additional research to find the reason for the issue.

More and more, I’m discovering new tech tools, always reading the reviews and always making sure there’s either a free trial or easy return. Using some of the new tech tools is like hiring an additional assistant, but there’s still a learning curve and it’s important to not get so many tools that it’s impossible to manage them all. My suggestion is to create a list that is aligned with what is truly needed and valued and look for the tools that will complement that list. Then, spend enough time to learn each tool to make it easy to train and manage others using those same tools. I regularly check out the new apps and deals on AppSumo as creators are looking to promote their products, many times with lifetime deals.

Tip Three: Education and Training

Taking proactive steps to educate ourselves about technology will pay off. There are a multitude of workshops, online courses, and seminars to learn the basics of common technologies and digital tools. If you’re wondering where to start, realize we already use so many of these tools by using our phone, appliances and programming our T.V.s. Many communities offer free or low-cost classes specifically designed for beginners. Be picky because our time is our most valuable asset. Choose carefully how you will spend that time.

How Artificial Intelligence Can Work with Your Skills-Deborah Johnson

Also, we can be fairly specific in choosing what to purse. For accessing a free tool like ChatGPT, it’s similar to going on Google and doing a search, though ChatGPT will do a lot more than performing a search. However, it’s important to always check sources and the information for accuracy. The accuracy will depend on the type of input on the back end. I always look for valid sources on any statistic as lot of those are just made up. The more we acquire knowledge and skills, the more confident and empowered we’ll feel as we navigate the digital landscape. Get FREE download here.

Also, realize that the speed of technology is increasing daily and probably hourly. I try to first focus on the basics so I can hire out the type of tech team that I need. If you go on Fiverr or even LinkedIn, there are many, many looking for tech work who are very capable and willing to work most anywhere in the world. And a lot of tech work can be done virtually. This used to not be the case and it’s now very doable and reasonable in cost. Check out the additional interview below with Mark Herschberg with strategies he has outlined using current tech, especially his Brain Bump app.

Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson Tech Savvy Growth with a Career App with Mark Herschberg 4-19-2024
00:00:00 00:00:00

Tip Four: Start Small and Seek Guidance

Starting small is a mindset that we all need to adopt because it includes “starting.” There are very small steps that can be taken, especially within a larger goal. I make it a habit to work hard at creating systems with very small steps. When they are created, it makes it easier for me to hire out tasks as needed. I recently did this with some video editing work for my podcasts. I have not felt comfortable offloading this task because I’m fast at editing and it didn’t seem worth spending the time or resources to train someone else. Plus, many editors charge more than I think they need to charge if given a good system.

As soon as I created my system and offloaded one video with a team I was already very familiar and working with, I became comfortable with offloading more and more. My system includes me doing some of the back-end work to provide the right footage, mastered audio files and information, but by doing this, I knew the product put out by my video team will be consistent and on brand with my other materials because of what I set up.

Because I’ve dealt so much with tech issues in the past, I have not been afraid to approach technology. But for those who are not as adventuresome, I suggest seeking guidance. However, spend time doing the research because there are many so called “coaches” and “experts” who charge a lot of money and depend on their influential messages to sell. Look carefully at what is truly offered and get as much information as possible. Referrals are also a good source of information, but still do diligence with research and reviews. There’s a lot of free information given for different tools that are available completely free for further educating ourselves.

Tip Five: Stay Updated and Adapt Accordingly

Technology is constantly evolving, so it's essential to stay informed about the latest advancements and trends. This can feel overwhelming but it’s not. I’ve recently incorporated the app by Mark Herschberg called “Brain Bump.” It’s free for authors and creators and gives me as an author and podcaster an additional marketing tool as well as resource for finding new material. Readers and listeners also get a free account which exposes more people to our content. I also follow tech blogs, subscribe to newsletters, magazines and listen to podcasts to stay updated on industry developments. I’ve included some of my favorites in the links included with this article.

We have to embrace a mindset of lifelong learning and be open to adapting to new technologies as they emerge. We don’t need to adopt every new emerging technology but the willingness to experiment and waste some time will pay off at some point. It may actually become fun in some cases! Recognize that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process and an opportunity to improve.

Application: Stay Curious and Live Life Fully

Remember that staying curious and adaptable will help us stay ahead in today's fast-paced digital world. I got such a thrill to read the texts from my eighty-eight year old father and I’ve kept some of them after he was gone. He never did spell check and some messages were quite hilarious! But he was willing to embrace the technology and that attitude revealed so much of his life philosophy which was, “I’m not afraid of dying, but I really like living!”

We are living in a world with so much opportunity. Embrace it and learn as much as possible to enjoy every day you are granted to live on this earth.

Additional Resources & Books: 

Deborah’s Resource Page-a huge list of resources, many that I use.

The New Workplace Using AI

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning with Christopher Penn

Women at Halftime, chapter4 “Core Common Denominator®” by Deborah Johnson

Brain Bump App by Mark Herschberg (free)

Some of the time spent with technology will feel like it’s wasted time, but that’s a part of the process.

deborah johnson

Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author

If you are interested in growing and learning, check out our online courses here: Online Learning

1,442 words

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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