Updated: Nov 9, 2020
You’ve just been given the fastest supercomputer in the world! In this theoretical scenario, I am the generous gift giver. (You’re welcome!) The Japanese “Fugaku” supercomputer can carry out 415.53 quadrillion calculations at once, and costs over 1 Billion USD. Now unfortunately, in this theoretical scenario, you can’t sell it. (Sorry!) However… you can use it! Easy right?
You’ve probably realized what I’m getting at. This computer is useless to you and me. It takes up over 20,000 square feet, and would take an unbelievable amount of time to learn how to use. This is an extreme example of the “Digital divide”, specifically, the “Usability divide”. In a more relevant context, the usability divide affects many people who just want to take advantage of the features on the devices that they already own. Teenagers today can maximize the potential of their devices like it’s second nature. For many others, sometimes just saving a picture to their phone seems impossibly difficult.
I believe the fix for the usability divide lies inside the theory of digital divide itself. The “Empowerment divide” is concerned with how we use technology to empower ourselves. Few people understand the power that their devices can give them in their everyday lives. Many people limit what they can do with their devices by accepting the basic default settings.
Just “working harder at it” or “spending more time” in front of the screen won’t fix this issue. Getting excited about personal tech will! There are so many amazing things that your devices can do for you today. Here’s a list of a few tech things I can do on my phone that honestly... get my heart rate going:
I can hire a personal grocery shopper that will: - Shop at my grocery store of choice - Take individual instructions for each item - Call to ask about replacement items if something is out of stock
I can use a ride-share service to have a private car take me for a 15 minute drive to visit my parents for as low $0.90 per mile.
My phone can give me reminders when I arrive at specific locations.
I can join a group video call with 5 different friends with just three taps on my phone.
All of these services are at my finger-tips, and get me excited to learn new skills with my devices everyday. Ask your trainer for tips, tricks and recommendations to learn skills that fit your needs.