STEM

How to conquer the digital world when you do not even own a smartphone?

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I am not someone who catch up easily with the changes in the digital world.
It took me forever before I began using emails.
When Facebook became popular, I began thinking about joining. I thought so long over it that it became out of fashion and I never joined at all.
I still am using the kind of cellphones that people used ten years ago. And it took me ages to buy one in the first place. Not to mention how long it took me to actually check whether I had received text messages.
There are several reasons for this. The main one being that I am very introverted and that being always connected feels both scary and draining.
However, lately, I came to see the digital world in another way. I had been reading blogs about self development and learning for months and I kept noticing that most bloggers had at least basic programming skills. I got interested in programming and started a free Python course on Codecademy. Then I took another course because it was just fun. And then another one… I am still not very good at programming but I can now write some small, easy programs and I feel much more self-confident than before regarding the use of new technologies.
Reading blogs made me also think about my use of new technologies and realize that actually, I was not the only one that liked to keep some distance. Cal Newport has been lately writing very interesting articles about digital minimalism. He reports how people experienced stopping using „optional technologies” in their life and how they benefited from this.
Finally, I could also see at my workplace how important digitization has become. This is not yet visible in the daily work itself, but the structure of the company is changing. For instance, we now have our own corporate social network. It sounds at first like a stupid idea but actually, it is brilliant because you can see what people of other entities or divisions are doing and you can follow the evolutions of the company and its industry. We have also access to small e-learning modules about the digital world, which is great.
I set up some strategy to progressively improve my digital skills:
  • one important part of this is digital culture. You have to know what is coming to you. For instance, if you read an article about the blockchain, than check out on the Internet what it is, how it works, what it is used for and what it will be used for in the future.
  • I also try to get some basic programming skills in a few programming languages. I make some notes of a programming language to understand better what it is used for and what is special about it. Then I take a course on Codecademy. For Python, I also wrote some small programs to improve my skills. Not enough however. This is something I should try to improve.
  • finally, this blog is a great project to put into practice some of the skills I am getting. For now, I still keep it as simple as possible. I may do things differently when I get better.

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