This post is linked up to the 2017 Book Blog Discussion Challenge.
Since I’m a book blogger, it shouldn’t be a surprise that most of my strengths have to do with the humanities. When I was a student, I took as many writing, literature, and humanities courses as I could get away with—I only tackled two relatively simple science courses in college (though I took AP Bio and AP Psychology in high school and enjoyed both of those), and I never took a math class after I took pre-calculus my junior year of high school. Math (and math-related sciences) intimidated me—I couldn’t wrap my head around them.
Technology has always been the same. It scares me! But nowadays I spend a HUGE chunk of my day on the computer, so I can’t avoid it completely. I don’t want to be baffled by technology or let it get the best of me, but I often find myself shying away from anything that takes more than the most basic technological knowledge. Not good in the blogging world.
Case in point: Here’s an actual exchange between Shannon (of It Starts at Midnight) and me that went on in the comments of one of my bite-sized reviews posts.
After this conversation, I immediately went to the UBB settings and got the API keys I needed. It took me all of two minutes. I then did a search for “UBB multiple books” and found these instructions, which told me exactly how to put more than one book into a post.
Now, I’ll confess that it didn’t work perfectly right away—I wanted a picture and some text to show up above the first book, and I had to play with it a little bit to figure out that the way to get that to work. (In case you’re like me and you hadn’t figured this out— you should skip filling out the main UBB fields, check the box so that the info for that main book isn’t displayed, and just enter your first book into Book 1.) Still, it didn’t take me that much effort to get it all figured out.
So why had I avoided it so long?
The short answer: I was scared.
The fact is that technology still intimidates me more than I’d like to admit. Every time I decide to use some new form or linky or plug-in, I cringe just a little bit at the idea because I just have this fear that I won’t be able to figure it out. And logically I know that I probably can figure it out—even if it doesn’t work perfectly the first time—but that doesn’t stop me from being intimidated. It’s like I’ve programmed myself with years of thinking that I’m “not good at things like that.” And that fear is often enough to keep me from trying.
Nowadays, I actually have to do a bit of chemistry and algebra to help my kids with their homeschool classes—I actually don’t teach them these classes directly, but I still have to know a lot of it to help them. And I’m finding it’s not as hard as I’d built it up to be in my head. (Okay, sometimes algebra still baffles me and I have to look up how to do things, but I can do it.) I don’t give myself enough credit when it comes to math, science and technology, and that needs to change.
SO, in 2017 I am vowing to be less afraid of technology! If I want to do something new on the blog, I’m going to approach it with the idea that I can do it, even if it doesn’t work instantly.
How about you? Are you a techie or does the mere mention of CSS or optimizing plugins make you want to cry? I want to know!
Good luck with being less scared!
I can relate to this post. Blogging has taught me more about technology and web design than I ever thought I’d learn. I’ve discovered that most technology stuff sounds more complicated than it actually is. Still, I struggle with Blogger almost every day. Lately, whenever I put multiple pictures near text, it squishes the text into a tiny block with pretty much no spacing between the lines. Then I’m like, “Blogger, nobody wants to read tiny, squished text. Why would you think this is acceptable?” Sometimes I can fix it, and sometimes I can’t.
Yes! So often I want to tweak something and I end up fiddling with it forever because I can’t get it to work right. Blogger was the worst when it came to pictures. I swear, that was one of the reasons I moved to WordPress.
Oh wow I had no idea you could even do multiple books in UBB. DUH oops. Whenever I did series reviews I filled in the final book data. Because technology is daunting. I feel ya!
You have to turn on the feature first (it’s under Book Information in the UBB Settings). Check out the instructions I linked up to find out how to do it—it’s actually really easy!
But the feature wasn’t always there—Ashley added it when she upgraded to version 3. So, it might be possible that you’re still on the old version? You’ll want to check with Ashley at Nose Graze if you don’t see the feature. I LOVE being able to add multiple books to a post and have them all tracked in my review indexes, etc.
I’m a MAJOR technophobe. I didn’t get my first smartphone until after I was married, and I still won’t use an ereader. My husband thinks it’s hilarious that I don’t want an Amazon Echo because “it’s always listening.” XD
WE have an Echo, and I have to admit that there IS this tiny part of my brain that feels like she’s always listening to us. I suppose it’s good that Alexa couldn’t overhear any top secret stuff in our household. My husband works for Amazon, though, so I guess we can’t talk about anything bad about his job … Hmmm … LOL!
Lol! Maybe when the robot uprising happens, Alexa will have mercy on you guys because your husband works for the company that made her. 😉 Always good to have connections!
That’s right. We’re safe from the apocalypse!!
I mostly am not too afraid of technology, I kinda like fixing things or figuring things out, but I know nothing of CSS beyond a few small things. And as soon as something goes wrong I go into freak out mode easily. And figuring out new things can take so long sometimes. Although blogging has thought me a lot about websites and I write a bit of html now.
And I still have an old phone without internet and am perfectly okay with that. I always did okay with math and even was pretty good with statistics in university. I have to say I kinda like statistics as it made so much sense to me. But I didn’t learn much science besides what I learned during my psychology study.
I do get that last part as sometimes our fear of something is the biggest thing standing in our way.
Yes, the fear (or at least intimidation) holds me back when I really should just go for it!
I love playing around with css and even the other php files on my blog to get things exactly how I want them, to give my blog different features and functions, etc. I love it because it makes me feel like a boss when I’m actually able to take this idea from inside my head and then make it happen. I’m also a perfectionist, so there’s that too. I want everything to look a certain way and can’t stand if it doesn’t, and that’s part of what motivates me. I don’t use the UBB plugin, but I use a combination of code and the Advanced Custom Field plugin to make my book review and mini review posts so that I just fill in different fields with the information. Though another part of the reason I started using so much code was because I am truly horrendously indecisive, and I wanted the security of knowing I could easily change things if I ever change my mind (like the layout or placement of something in the post) and it’ll change them on every post. I don’t know how to actually make complex plugins or anything like that though. And funnily enough, I’m always like the last person to get new technology, use new social media, etc. lol.
That’s great that you’re going to change your attitude about trying future bloggy things though 🙂 I have faith in you!
I just don’t understand CSS enough to feel like I can do those types of things. And I’m sure I could learn, but when it comes down to “read a book” or “scour the internet on how to do such-and-such on my blog,” reading the book almost always wins. I know that our library offers Lynda courses, though, and I bet there are some on CSS. Maybe I should do a basic one so that I have at least a general understanding and it won’t be so intimidating.
This is a great post, I agree about tweaking posts – I always feel like I might screw it, it seems to take forever on blogger, I should move to wordpress but another time lol 😀 good luck!
Yeah, the fact that it sometimes takes a long time makes me less inclined to try too. Even if the thing I need done is just a quick thing—I assume it will take me forever (partially based on past experience), so I keep putting it off.
You know what I love about technology nowadays? There’s always help online. Whenever I think I can’t do something, I google, I ask, I click around until I find the answer. I’m not instinctively intimidated by technology though. I love it. I’m an early adopter. My mom was a computer programmer. She programmed mainframes on those punch cards, way back in the day. So it was built into my childhood that this would be a part of my life. Just remember that help is around the corner. There’s a YouTube video or online tutorial around to help you on ANYTHING. 🙂
That is SO true. I actually have figured out quite a few things by searching the internet, but my initial instinct is always still to be intimidated. If I can’t just follow instructions exactly, I get flustered and frustrated!
Technology can be a little scary, but it can also be so fun! I’m glad you pulled through and worked it out! Keep at it! I know I am. There are so many things I would like to do with technology and blogging.
I need to just go for it more often! That’s what I plan to do this year!
Technology is SO HARD! I feel old, saying that. But it’s true. There are times when I go looking for online tutorials and feel like I’m reading Chinese. My favorite thing is when a resource like Test My Site gives me information to give to my “webmaster”. Dude! I AM the webmaster and I don’t know what anything means!
Yep, technology more than anything makes me feel old. At least I have my husband, who serves as my “webmaster” when necessary.
That’s a great attitude to have! I have to admit that I too am not the most tech skilled blogger- I’d much rather write posts than mess around w/ the coding, but I really should make better use of the tools that are available. It’s just sometimes that I don’t want to ha ha! Maybe this year I’ll be better about that too.
Good luck with this!!
I don’t mind that I’m not up on all the newest technology, but I do want to be able to do basic tweaking and such. But I agree that I’d rather spend my time reading or blogging!
I am absolutely terrified of technology – I think I’m afraid I’ll break something if I try to tackle a problem, or even worse, I’ll make a fool of myself in front of someone! Public librarians are real jack-of-all-trades people, and whenever a patron comes to the desk clutching an e-reader or a flash drive I have minor chest pains! But, I find that being self-deprecating can really help put everyone at ease – I usually say something like “well, I don’t really know what I’m doing, so let’s find out together!” ?
That’s a great attitude—at least then they don’t feel bad for not knowing either! 🙂
There’s so much tech you could learn nowadays. I’d say I’m not afraid of technology – but not as curious as I once was about learning new things (or it might be that I have less time). Either way, I resolve to improve my skills a little more in 2017.
Yeah, sometimes it can be a little overwhelming, which also holds me back. I’m going to do better this year, though!
OOMG Nicole I am DYING! I somehow missed your last reply to that thread, that is SO. FUNNY. That happened to me when WP updated once, and the Goodreads API thing didn’t work and I had to redo it. But yeah, 2 minutes 😉 I think the reason I am not is this: I am a few years younger- and ONLY a few years (this is key, and I will explain why). So, remember when the internet was first a “thing”? Well, you were probably like… out of high school, but JUST, right? Okay. Well I was IN high school. And my parents didn’t have a CLUE what they were doing, so who set it all up? I did! And I had NO IDEA what I was doing. Still don’t half the time, let’s be real. But, it was only going to get done if I did it so… there you have it. I was living in my parents’ house when technology started to be a thing, and they were more incompetent than me, and it was survival of the fittest 😉 If I had been any YOUNGER, they would not have allowed me to do it, I am sure. Any older, and I probably would have had to deal with it using my own money/equipment and would have been far less likely to be okay with messing stuff up.
SO, your fear is just a practical one! BUT. Now that you have overcome this UBB issue, I think you can safely say that you can DO THIS! You got this, my friend! And like- if you get worried, just back up your site right before you mess with junk. Then, worst case scenario, just upload the old version, and you’re good to go. I daresay there is not much you can do to TOTALLY mess it up- especially since Ashley has most of the “under the hood” bits controlled on her end, you probably couldn’t trash it all even if you TRIED. 😀
Also, I am so glad I have inspired this goal! And if you ever need help… well, I have some basic knowledge? Not a ton, but… I get by and am happy to help if I can!! 😀
You’re probably right about the age thing. I’m not old enough that basic technology freaks me out—I mean, I can use my iPhone (for the most part—my kids can probably still do some things I can’t), but I AM old enough that the internet didn’t really happen until I was in college (and even then it was VERY basic). We did have an Apple 2E when I was a teenager. And I took a class on computers as part of the gifted program in grade school. We wrote programs in Basic that could make words go across the screen—we were so cool! But anything more complicated just makes me cringe a little. My husband read this post and wrote me a message that said he thought it was hilarious that I’m afraid of technology because he’s afraid of books. I have no idea how we work. LOL!
Pssh, that is WHY you work so well! He can fix the technology, and you will know ALL the other things 😉 Tell him I kid, I kid. I figured you would be in college when the internet really became a “thing”- since I was in high school. We would get the AOL CDs bwhahah. And since no one’s parents had a damn CLUE, we were in charge. Parental Controls were not yet a thing… but we were so clueless I don’t think we needed them bwhaha.
And OMG I did those programs in grade school too! We were like, one of the first school districts around to get a computer lab- and we had the first Oregon Trail! No wonder I have so much love for that game haha.
It’s funny how much difference a few years makes- like my cousin is 10 years younger than me, and he laughs at how I have to actually *gasp* LOOK at my phone while using it. But then my mom and dad are 10 years apart and THEY are so different! Someone should do a study! But not us. Because if you are anything like me, that sounds like a nightmare 😉
I’ll be sure to let him know that he has to defer to me for ALL the other stuff. 🙂
P.S.-I emailed you about boooooks 😀
I replied yesterday! Sorry it took me so long!
I absolutely love technology, and for a lot of the smaller things, I’m able to figure things out on my own. I think part of my love for technology is because I live in another country than my mom and sister, and when I first moved to Switzerland, we could only call each other on a landline. And it cost a fortune. So we didn’t talk very often. Then, we got mobile phones. And the internet where we could send e-mails and pictures and be in touch much more often. And now, with facetime or skype, with facebook, we can chat every day, we can see each other -even if we aren’t in the same country. It’s fascinating, really!
I’m not able to do a lot with html or CSS myself, unfortunately. I think I’d like to do some classes once I finish my MA in English, and my MA in education… Because knowing how things work makes it easier to use it all 🙂
I’m glad you’ve realized that you can do more than you though, Nicole! Hey, even algebra can make sense, right ?
It’s amazing how much technology has brought the world closer, isn’t it? The book blogging community that’s such a huge part of my life couldn’t have possibly existed when I was in my teens and twenties. And look at us now!
Oh I am awful with technology. CSS and whatever else you said scares me. I know what to do now and if I have to change anything I would be screwed lol. What is worse is I am the techie between me and my husband so pretty much we are screwed lol!! I will say most stuff isn’t as bad as I imagine it to be but still@
Yes, at least I have my husband. That is my saving grace!
I have such a love/hate relationship with technology! I’m intimidated by it and and I don’t even know what’s available for whatever it is I’m trying to do half the time… But when I take the time to sit down and research how to do something, I can usually figure it out and I feel good. The problem is it takes SO MUCH time! I would really rather be reading. Which is why my graphics are not terribly creative or visually appealing.
Yes, I agree that a lot of things take me a long time (that probably shouldn’t, but…). I think that’s a big part of the reason that I have a hard time convincing myself to try something new—because I’m just assuming it’s going to be a big project no matter what it is.
I don’t think it is being scared, and more of just not wanting to have to learn another new thing.
I am the family member people bring their computers/tablets/cell phones to, so I can show them how they work/fix them or whatever. It gets old and if I don’t learn it, then I can’t help them! But I do see how that affects me too. Soon I’ll get out of this mindset. Maybe…
You make a really good point. Sometimes technology can seem so endless and as soon as you learn one thing you realize there are a million things you still don’t know!
I definitely improved in HTML since I started blogging but I still don’t know what exactly CSS means or what it does. I mean I used it to center my pictures but it was just because I found it on a website. That’s why I use blogspot because I find it so easy to work with and I can’t really mess things up. Back in the day I was playing with html on wordpress I guess and I totally broke my blog, nothing was where I wanted it to be and nothing was working soo… I guess that says a lot about me. 😀
Yes, I’m always afraid I’ll break something and then not be able to figure out how to fix it. Yikes!
I feel you. I created a test site to try things and that has boosted my confidence. If you ever need help with UBB ask Ashley or email me, I will gladly look under the hood or answers questions.
A test site would be a good idea. But I doubt my husband would be excited about me paying for another site just to play with it … (Actually, now that I think about it, he might be perfectly happy with that—he does that often with things he needs to work on for his job.) I often wish that there was a preview option for things more often. I’m sure there have been plenty of times where someone’s on my site during an accidental moment (or two) while I’m trying to get something working.
No you create a dev.yoursite.com site on the same hosted account. Here is a tutorial http://www.inmotionhosting.com/support/website/wordpress/duplicate-wordpress-site-for-testing
Thanks so much for the info! Because of my new and improved 2017 attitude about technical stuff, I obviously have to respond to this with a hearty, “I can do it!” 🙂 (And I totally will. Thanks!!)
Don’t worry – we all have moments like this as well. Like you, humanities is my thing. I take maths at the moment now because its mandatory and I hate it >.> But as a blogger, we end up running into technology all the time. It took me a while to really decide that I was going to tackle coding, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Thank the Lord for all the lovely how to articles everywhere on the internet. I wouldn’t be able to survive without them 🙂
My recent post: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2017/01/december-wrap-up-2016.html
I think I need a basic understanding to get myself started before I just start scanning the internet for things. I can often figure out what to do but it’s much more painful than it needs to be because I don’t have a basic understanding of CSS (or HTML).
Oh god, I’m really NOT a technology person. When I was in grad school, I had to a technology course and it was all online. I’m really amazed I got through it, since I didn’t have anyone in person to help me through it. I mean, the teacher was obviously great with examples and the like. Anyway, I love this idea of approaching these things with a positive “can do” attitude. I’m still on blogger, so I haven’t had to do too much techy stuff on my blog. I want to eventually change things around though so it’ll happen some day. haha
Being on WordPress isn’t inherently more techie than Blogger, but there are lots of options for expanding on things, which means that you have more opportunities for (failing at) technical stuff. 🙂
Well, I also stopped taking math after pre-calc junior year, and I’m pretty sure that one of the major reasons I chose the college I did is that there wasn’t a math or science requirement to graduate. (You had to take a year of math OR a foreign language and a year or science OR social science. They changed that for the class behind me!) I don’t regret the lack of math, but I do wish I’d taken more science. I just did basic biology and basic chemistry in high school.
I am pretty comfortable figuring out and using technology that already is made, but I don’t know how to start from scratch. I do not have the slightest idea what UBB, API, or CSS are. Hence Blogger as my platform, so your questions to Shannon make you sound like a genius to me!
I like learning some kinds of new stuff, like how to use Twitter, how to create a poll, etc., but I know nothing about HTML and coding. And I’m okay with that. It hasn’t been an issue so far. I basically learn what I need to know to solve a particular problem, whether it’s for my work or for my blog.
WEll, I’m glad I sound like a genius to somebody. LOL! I was an acting major in college, so I didn’t have a ton of specific requirements (and I had some AP credits, which took care of some of them). It was nice because I was able to fill my gen eds with classes that really interested me.
I do tinker around with CSS and even blog formatting and I used to do it myself until I used the Tweak-Me theme which makes it even easier. Anyway, I love reading posts about editing and using CSS and HTML for blogging.
I also manage my own hosting so I had to learn pretty fast how to fix hacks and malware…
I’m impressed! I do have the Tweak Me theme, but I haven’t tweaked it in quite awhile!! 🙂
I am exactly the same! I have relied on my sister for years to help me with all technology-related things, but seen as she now lives quite far away and I’m no good at following over the phone instructions, I basically avoid all things I don’t know how to do. I thing it’s just in my head that ‘i’m no good at technology’, so I don’t even think of trying when something comes up!
Good luck being less afraid of technology anyway! I should probably try that myself 🙂
Yes, I think a lot of it is a state of mind. I just think I’m bad at tech so I don’t try. Need to change that!
Awe… Nicole! That’s just a lot of trouble to go through. I can see you being a bit worried about it though. I am glad you figured it out. I wish you luck will your goal to be less afraid this year!
It wasn’t so hard once I figured it out, but sometimes you just don’t want to spend the time to even do that.
I get it. I am the worst with technical things, I’ve got the basics of things down but once it starts getting too complex I kind of can’t be bothered. I mean, if there are a lot of words explaining what to do and no pictures there is essentially no chance that I will do it because I need the pictures, I am a visual person, but watching a youtube video will help me not at all because I need to read words not hear them.
I often find it’s not that I’m scared I’m just too lazy to put the work in to fix things.I hope you do get over your fear of technology, it’s not that scary. It just sometimes follows a different logic than what you expect.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, laziness has a lot to do with my issue too. I just want it to work … right away. 🙂
We’re so the opposite when it comes to subjects. I loved Math, but English terrified me. I even took an extra calculus class, above what I needed, as an elective and for fun in college. LOL.
I haven’t ever tried to put multiple books in a post through UBB BUT if you want to put multiple books in a post that isn’t using tables or UBB then there is a code to use. So you enter a picture, add words after it, then add . Then you hit enter and start all over again. If you don’t then the 2nd picture is tabbed out and looks wierd. Not sure if this is useful at all, and if it wasn’t then NEVERMIND haha.
Yay to 2017 being the year of concurring our fears and pushing ourselves to believe in ourselves. ♥
EXTRA Calculus? On purpose? Oh my! Not me. 🙂
I haven’t moved my blog from the WordPress free because I think this is exactly why. I sucked at playing videogames and my brothers were so mean to me, so I just quit. I was never good at computers and started with the most basic things I had to do for school. I get anxiety from frustration of not being able to figure things out or not working the way I want it to.
My son makes fun of me for my video game skills too. They’re pretty pathetic.
I used to think I was good at technology– but that was before I started blogging and tried to do graphic design and sucking at it. I use blogger and I don’t hate it, but I’ve always wanted to be on WordPress because it’s so much cleaner looking. BUT I don’t want to pay monthly. And moving 5 years worth of posts is WAY too scary for me. I would LOVE it if my husband could do my technology for me, but he’s worse than me at this stuff. AND omg, like Shannon, I was totally an AOL CD high schooler!!! Unlike Shannon, my parents probably needed to be monitoring me because CHAT ROOMS!!!!
There was no such thing as a chat room when I was in high school. In college, my husband and I communicated via this thing that was like an antiquated version of instant messaging on the computer, and we were so cutting edge! It looked like a giant DOS screen (if you even know what that is). And just recently we found the sounds of those old-school modems online—our kids thought it was HILARIOUS that that’s what it sounded like every time we connected to the internet. (I have to admit, I got quite a laugh out of it myself.)
HA! I enjoyed reading your exchange with Shannon 🙂
I HEAR YOU Nicole! UGH dealing with technology is not my favorite thing to do. nuh hu
My hubby is a super tech nerd so I’m kind of used to deal with technology. So, I’m not sure I use the word “scare” but I’m often super LAZY about learning NEW technology. It just feels to me it NEVER ends! Once I learned something then it’s utterly obsolete. So I get tired. I bought the UBB and never used it because precisely I have ZERO time to be learning about everything I can do with it. 🙁
I think laziness does have something to do with it, you’re right. It’s not so much that I don’t think I can figure things out, but just that I don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring it out—and then troubleshooting.
I’m a TECHNOLOGY FREAK! I always want to learn something new right this minute!!! And I’m not afraid to ask questions or learn.
Well, now I know where to go when I’m fumbling around in the dark. LOL! 🙂
Anytime! Just shoot me an email. 🙂
Thanks! I’m sure I’ll be taking you up on that!
Since I’m a little new to blogging, I don’t know much about plugins, etc. I do like WordPress because it is easy to put in codes in posts.
When you’re new, it’s best to just ease into all the technology stuff. Otherwise you can find yourself overwhelmed in no time.
[…] Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction shares her fear of technology […]
It’s damn intimidating to me. Some parts are easy peasy and others I am afraid off because even now I find myself still trying to figure things out despite starting blogging ages ago. You’re absolutely right — it’s time to stop being afraid of technology. Nods.
I know—I’ve been blogging for four years and it feels like I’ll never have a full grasp on all of it.
Some parts are easy peasy and others I am afraid of because even now I find myself still trying to figure things out despite starting blogging ages ago. In college, my husband and I communicated via this thing that was like an antiquated version of instant messaging on the computer. now I find myself still trying to figure things out despite starting blogging ages ago.