April 10, 2021
“… the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
In my years of consulting the most common reaction to computers is fear.
Fearful users do not understand the operating system interface.
Application controls are unfamiliar and therefore frightening.
When the computer is explained as a metaphor for an office users relax from their fear.
Most people know what a desk, paper and pencil, address book, calendar, copy machine and encyclopedia do. They are not afraid of these common office items if recognized on the computer.
Learning something new will evoke fear in most people.
The point of learning, however, is to develop skills while becoming familiar with something new.
Familiarity breeds confidence which thwarts fear.
Social interaction either comes naturally to people or it comes with fear.
What will that person think of me?
How should i act around that crowd?
What standards of behavior do they endorse?
Get to know new people and then engage.
We are all in the midst of a global virus pandemic.
We should all be afraid.
We do not know what will happen to us if we contract the disease.
Even the scientists don’t know what the long term effects of vaccines are.
There are vast numbers of people who are on the side of the virus because of inaction and disbelief.
They need to overcome their fear with knowledge.
We need to fear them until that happens.
Fear can be a tool for self preservation.
Some fear government, thinking it will forsake its representative mandate in favor of the special interests of the rich and powerful. One cure for this kind of fear would be to run for public office. The view from the inside is less frightening than what is seen on the news.
i was afraid of public speaking until i joined Toastmasters. i learned techniques like speaking to one person in the back of the crowd and imagining that they were naked. Working my way up to leading the local speaker’s bureau gave me an understanding of what the audience wanted to hear. As such, i did not fear their reaction to my speeches.
Before my first jump i was afraid of skydiving. That fear disappeared 10 seconds after exit when the experience of the free fall environment encompassed me and i understood what it was.
Starting a new job can be trepidatious.
We ease our way into a new job by recognizing what is familiar.
Where is my desk?
The break room is down the hall next to the copy machine.
i work with that team of people… and i just made an email list of them.
The same can be said about moving into a new home. Becoming familiar with the environment alleviates fear.
One of our greatest fears is the fear of death.
Faith can give us an understanding and a calmness.
Facing our mortality with resignation and open eyes can dissuade the fear.
Education, understanding, experience and familiarity are weapons in the fight against fear.
There is only one kind of fear that humans experience.
It is fear of the unknown.
I find that a frequent fear that computer users have is that something they might do would mess up the computer in some way. Some people are a lot more afraid of what they might do to the computer than they are of what the computer might do to them. For those people I often have to spend a fair amount of time convincing them that it is really hard to screw up a computer inadvertently to the point where it would need major intervention to correct.
Well said. It reminds me of the time that a client’s cat walked across the keyboard and stepped on the Option – Command – Control – 8 keys causing the colors on the monitor to invert. For the client to invert the colors they would have had to go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Display > Display > then check the Invert colors checkbox. Interestingly, the keyboard shortcut no longer works in modern versions of the OS.
Thank You Rick, for another pearl of wisdom.
Your Toast Masters comment of speaking to
a naked audience is priceless and worked
for me. Sincerely Stewart
I always looked at fear as feeling “oops, I’ve never done this before…I’m not sure……what if i mess up?” I find it very motivating… but do call in professional help!
I do believe you and Tom Mills are describing my attitude towards computers. However, thanks to you two men, I have a truce with my Mac. Fear is also the anathema of older individuals. We don’t fear death, but miss the confidence that comes with a sound body and mind.
NICELY DONE. as usual