Building Confidence and Connection by Building Digital Literacy
Although social distancing regulations are gradually starting to be loosened, life has still not returned to normal. For many of us, including those most susceptible to infection, staying home and maintaining social distance is still the safest option. And spending all of our days indoors can be difficult for many reasons. We’re unable to visit friends and family, and live cultural events that enrich our lives still haven’t returned to our stages.
Over the past few months, digital solutions to these problems have become an integral part of our everyday lives. But these solutions can be hard to use if you’re not familiar with them. For anyone unfamiliar with technological terminology, the online world can be overwhelming.
If you’re a tech-wiz, thanks for stopping by, but no need to read on! If you’d like to brush up on your tech-savvy, here are some easy tips to navigate this new normal, and make the best of a difficult situation by improving your digital know-how.
The first step is to overcome any psychological barriers you may have about your own digital device. Not knowing what your smartphone, tablet, or laptop can do can be a source of anxiety and frustration. A good way to get over that initial uncertainty is to familiarize yourself with your device through touch. Adjusting to a new digital device can take some getting used to, but don’t be afraid of exploring its capabilities. Have some fun with it, poke around, be patient, and practice!
Under normal circumstances, we would suggest attending community classes, designed to teach things like the nuts and bolts of digital communication, and even tasks like online banking. But there are plenty of online alternatives out there to help develop your skills for free. Organizations like GCF Learn Free offer a variety of online tutorials to help you brush up your skills. Start with the basics with this introductory video!
Even though live performances aren’t taking place the way they normally do, arts organizations from over the world have been going digital. World-class symphony orchestras, opera companies, and individual musicians have been inviting audiences into their homes for live-streamed performances, available most commonly through YouTube. In fact, we’ve made our own Map of Digital Performances. Check it out here!
Don’t see what you’re looking for on our Digital Performance Map? Try searching for it yourself. Just click here to visit YouTube. If you’re using your smartphone or tablet, you may be prompted to open the YouTube application, but you can hit “cancel” to simply view and search Youtube in your browser.
From the main homepage, navigate to the search bar and type in the name of your favourite arts organization. If they have a YouTube channel, their profile should be the first item in the search results. For an example, visit YouTube and enter our name, “Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert,” in the search bar. You’ll be able to visit our profile and scroll through our videos, or hit the Subscribe button to receive a notification the next time we add a new one!
During these uncertain times, the most important thing we can do is keep in touch with our loved ones and our community. The Internet can create a sense of community for those of us currently sheltering in isolation. Using it as a method of communicating with friends and family who aren’t able to visit can significantly impact the emotional well-being of those living on their own.
Whether you choose to stay in touch with your loved ones using video-conferencing apps like Zoom or Skype, or you’re using the extra time on your hands to send them a thoughtful email, staying in touch is essential.
Everyone would much rather visit friends and family in person, but until it’s safe to do so, we hope you’re finding ways to stay connected through technology.