Four handy tips to help you feel confident in the digital age
By Graduate Consultant, Emily Dunn
In the last Source edition we explored the significance behind the terms digital immigrant and digital native in modern society. We looked at how the digital age has transformed communications and how some are able to better assimilate to these changes than others.
In a nutshell, a digital immigrant is an individual who was born before the existence of digital technology and adopted it later in life, while a digital immigrant is someone who has grown up with digital technology. If you would like to learn more about these definitions, revisit my last article, Understanding the modern world as a digital immigrant.
Do you doubt yourself on social media? Are you worried your smart phone will outsmart you? Is the internet your last resort for information?
If you answered yes to these questions it is possible that you are making life harder for yourself, but don’t fear! The following tips will get you on the right track to conquering your digital uncertainties and using digital communication outlets to leverage both your personal life and business ventures.
1. Don’t give up, you’ll get there!
Confidence comes with practice, and through practice your habits will change to utilise the powers of digital technology. Don’t be afraid to explore technology and look for clues to guide you. For example, your smart phone is in essence a multi-dimensional book, so don’t be afraid to explore its pages and if you become unsure where you have ended up, you can always switch it off and start again.
Remember that you are always in control. Manuals and help-guides are made for a reason, and while we all like to think we are innately skilled, learning later in life is easier done methodologically.
2. When in doubt, Google it.
Researching through traditional methods such as book reading is rewarding and enjoyable. However, if the information you require is needed immediately, turn to the internet, jump on Google and type in your question. Your answer, plus probably another one million facts about your answer will instantly appear at your fingertips. Also, next time you’re stuck on the definition of a word, type in ‘(your word) definition’ and the dictionary definition from all the leading dictionaries around the world will appear in your results.
If you are after a quote from a book, or know a quote from a book and not the title, click Google ‘Books’ located on the taskbar and type in the title or quote of the book want. This is similar to doing a web search, but instead of website results, you will receive direct e-versions of books.
The great thing about e-Books is you can search for key-words which will give you relevant book results and you can even search for key words inside the books. So if you’re looking for a direct quote, it will lead you to the right page.
3. Take the time to understand the culture and social practices of different social media platforms.
Facebook can be used to communicate to someone or a group openly or privately. It is important to remember that if you wish to communicate something personal or private, it is more appropriate to use the person message or ‘inbox’ feature rather than writing it directly on their Facebook wall.
Typically, if you post something on a Facebook wall (unless the receiver’s personal Facebook settings don’t allow it) it can be openly seen by all the people in your Facebook network. By doing this you are openly inviting people to participate in your wall post, even if you only intended to communicate to one specific person.
4. Don’t be afraid to share!
Convergence is the way of the future and social media is the best example of how you can communicate with people over multiple platforms.
If you have an Instagram, Twitter, blog or YouTube account, you can share your posts, images and videos on Facebook and vice-versa. Social media is a great way to cross-promote (if you’re a business) and share the things you are proud of (if you are just using social media recreationally) to your audience.
Sharing can be as simple as copying the URL of a YouTube video you like and posting it on your Facebook wall, or clicking the ‘Share’ button on a Facebook post you have seen to post it on your wall.
Small activities like this are simple examples of participating in the digital world, and over time you will develop the confidence to try new things and excel.
If you are looking to become digitally fluent across all social media platforms, at Font we provide in-depth social media training specialised for business and communication development. For information on how to secure a spot in the next round of social media training, visit http://www.fontpr.com.au/social/.