Computers can make us crazy. They’re supposed to make our lives easier, but these tiny thinking machines also can cause stress. All it takes is a computer malfunction.
When you encounter a problem that you have no idea how to fix, you think: “Will I get my work done? What have I lost? How much will it cost to fix? Who can I get to help? How long will it take?” And these are just the basic questions.
While you’re asking yourself these questions, adrenaline is coursing through your system, making your body feel different. From sweating to squirminess, the physical manifestation of angst is very uncomfortable and makes it difficult to concentrate.
Even if the problem is solved quickly, after going into a momentary panic, it will take you anywhere from an hour to a day to get back to your normal level of functioning. And being in a panic is not great for your general well being.
This is where the old saying that “knowledge is power” can be very helpful. Knowing how your computer works and having the ability to dance around a program and make it do what you want it to can make you feel creative and intelligent.
Having the ability to get done what you need to do and not encounter any problems allows for greater access to the inner resources and inspiration that we all have.
The pride that comes from mastering or, if you’re a techno-spazz like me, just getting the basics of a computer can be very empowering. In addition, learning something new builds brain cells and staves off Alzheimer’s. You actually stimulate the growth centers of your mind and create a greater ability to figure out what you need to do next.
The confidence of knowing that you can solve a problem, even before you actually encounter it, is very freeing and allows you to push yourself without feeling pushed.
You can fly though projects like a stunt pilot, doing barrel rolls around your Excel spreadsheet, while your knowledge of Photoshop will make Ansel Adams green with envy. In addition, every time you accomplish a new task, it gives you the opportunity to feel better about yourself.
If you invest an hour or two a week in a class, many of which are available online, you will master your program/computer of choice in short order. With that ability, you can then create and share your gifts with the world.
Just the social networking alone can link you up with what’s going on in many different places. By Twittering here or Facebooking there, you can find old friends and make new ones. By creating a blog, you can touch the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands (and maybe even get a book deal). Quite simply, it’s an opportunity to connect with the rest of humanity.
So go get that new laptop or use your kid’s old desktop, it’s time to learn how to keep up with the rest of the human race.
Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., LMFT, is an award-winning therapist and writer. He is a columnist, blogger and the author of seven books, including the newly released: “Visualization For Success — 75 Psychological Empowerment Exercises To Get You What You Want In Life.” Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.