There’s a whole load of research showing a direct link between increased confidence (or self-esteem) and increased life satisfaction – don’t take my word for it, consult Mr Google. Confidence comes in all shapes and sizes – and digital confidence is SO important in 2018 when we rely so much on tech.
But what if you’re not feeling confident? How can you get a confidence boost and find that next level life satisfaction? In a digital world where Comparison Syndrome often raises its ugly head, it can be hard to find that inner confidence. And in the words of Roald Dahl, “It’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you’re not feeling twinkly yourself.”
This is why I was so pleased to go along to the Digital Drop-In event in Plymouth last week, to see how Google’s Digital Garage and the Post Office Broadband are helping to boost digital confidence and make people feel better across the UK. It’s one of multiple events happening across the country – find out about your nearest one here.
I was there to meet some of the people who’d come along for a digital confidence boost, and to see the Google team in action. The whole series of events has been organised by Post Office Broadband after their research showed that 20% of people in the UK don’t feel digitally confident. When you think how much we rely on tech these days, that’s a pretty high number.
How can a Digital Drop-in help your digital confidence?
People came along for all sorts of reasons. It might be that they needed help setting up a new device, had some questions about how to keep their family safe online, or just wanted some guidance on how to do something simple like send an email.
Everyone who came had a different issue they needed help with, but they all had the need for a hands-on face-to-face tutorial in common. It’s can be so frustrating trying to work out a tech problem when you don’t have the skills already, or trying to understand something via a complicated tech site that already assumes a certain level of knowledge. That’s why these events are so great – it’s an opportunity to have someone sit with you and work out the problem, then SHOW you how to fix it.
It’s not just older people who struggle with these things either – the ages of people attending these events have ranged across the board, showing that young people don’t necessarily have the monopoly on feeling digitally confident.
One of my favourite stories from the morning came from a lady in her 70s, who was about to go on a huge trip with a friend 20 years younger – to Vietnam and Cambodia. She told me how she’d lived in Bangkok in the 80s, had family in Australia and had always wanted to go to Vietnam and Cambodia, but it wasn’t until her friend suggested they do the trip together that she’d decided to go ahead and book flights.
This lady’s husband is 12 years older than her and has Parkinsons, so while he wanted her to go ahead and take the trip he wasn’t in a position to join her. She’d come along to the Drop-In event to try to work out a way to FaceTime or Skype with him while she was away, so she’d still get to see his face every day. I hope I still have the same zest for life if I’m lucky enough to reach my 70s!
Want to boost your digital confidence?
The next event is in Cardiff, at the Cardiff Central Library Hub on Friday 3rd August from 10am – 1pm. Then there are two more events planned for the summer – one in Norwich and one in Belfast. Find out more about those here.
Location-wise, I think it’s great that the Drop-Ins are happening in really easily-accessible places, where everyone feels safe and comfortable. (Side note: if you haven’t been to your local library in a while it’s worth a visit because you might be surprised by what’s on offer. We go to ours regularly – not just to loan books, but for the kids to do some crafting and go to storytelling sessions, all completely free!).
If you’re grappling with a tech issue that’s leaving you cold, or just after some general tech advice and support then the Digital Drop-Ins are a great way to get some advice from a bona-fide Google expert for free – and it’s not every day you get that opportunity!
Thanks to Post Office Broadband for inviting me along to the event and for commissioning this post. For more information about how I work with brands check out my Work With Me page.