Confessions of a technophobe

Malcolm G Cutt

Three weeks ago I hadn’t heard of Zoom. I was vaguely aware of something called Microsoft Teams, as I had received a couple of invitations to join a team, but this looked a bit complicated, so was something I thought I would have a proper look at once I had a bit more time.

I have never been an early adopter of new technology – I recall back in the early 1990s expressing doubt as to whether this new thing called e-mail would ever catch on, and I was the last person in the university to continue to use Supercalc when all colleagues had moved on to Excel, much to the dismay of then colleagues in our IT department.

So when it became clear that there was a strong likelihood that we would enter into a period of working from home for a prolonged period, and would need to hold meetings remotely with a number of colleagues at the same time, I decided that I would need to bite the bullet and find out how this remote technology stuff worked. So after a training session from IT colleagues (and with particular thanks to Mark and Harry who each have the patience of a saint), I was dispatched off home with all the instructions on how to work Teams on my iPad. Initially I was quite apprehensive. As I’ve already mentioned, I don’t have a great history with technology – indeed I’m that person who usually jams the photocopier! But when we held our first planned meeting using Teams, I found the instructions easy to follow, and everything worked out just fine. A couple of weeks down the line, I now find using Teams for online meetings is almost second nature, and I’ve also managed to have a couple of meetings using Zoom, which I managed to download and set up all on my own!

So whilst it seems likely that it will be some time yet before we get back to the point where we are able to meet with colleagues in person, it is great to be able to see and hear people (and also to be able to take a peek and see what their houses look like)! So one positive I can take from the current situation is that I now feel a lot more tech-savvy than I ever thought I would, and hopefully will in future have to put up with less ridicule from my children for being a technological dinosaur!

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