Do You Speak Geek? Learning the Language of Technology

Throughout high school and college I studied languages. I studied French all eight years, plus several years of Russian in college, a semester of Mandarin Chinese, an independent study of ancient Greek, and some Spanish and Latin. With each new language, a new world and new way of thinking opened up before me. I loved this. I could have easily continued taking language classes had I not needed to graduate before my scholarship ran out. That was over thirty years ago.

As I’ve tried to learn more about computers and technology, I have felt frustrated and overwhelmed.

“I hate this stuff,” I would complain as I sat at the computer pulling out my hair lest I give into the temptation to throw my computer at the wall.

“Why can’t they make it so a normal person can understand? It’s like learning a whole new language.” And then it hit me. It is a new language. What was frustrating me was that I expected myself to just know this stuff, to pick it up easily because after all it wasn’t in Greek.

But it is in Geek. Once I started thinking of learning technology as learning a new language, it didn’t become easy, but I knew I could do it. No-one expects you to pick up a new language overnight, least of all yourself, yet I expected myself to be able to pick up computer overnight. I just had to do what I did back in college when I learned a new language.

So I sat at a WordPress Meet-up and reminded myself that these young men were speaking a new language, one I wasn’t fluent in so I needed to pay extra attention and trust that eventually it will start to make sense if I keep at it. And that is what I’m doing. Instead of getting frustrated by every new concept I run into in the technology world (or at least, not getting as frustrated as I had), I remind myself I am learning a new language.

How do you cope will all of the new, ever changing technology? Any tips for me?

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