Digital Fluency (as defined in the Workplace Reinvention Handbook) is the ability to effectively navigate, analyze and create information as well as interact and engage stakeholders in a wide variety of social and digital technologies.
Why is it important?
Employees and Managers with high Digital Fluency (and even those that have fundamental “literacy” levels) have a competitive advantage over those that are digitally “illiterate”. Digital Fluency is important for business conduct, relationship development, risk assessment, and conflict resolution.
We know it’s important – so why can it be SCARY to move FORWARD – at any level?
The world is moving at lightning speed. Where are you on the scale of Digital Fluency?
Social Media has been here awhile, and it’s not going anywhere – except forward – and fast! If you haven’t been keeping up in the social media world, you might feel like a bit of a dinosaur.
- You are an expert in your field, or at least feel pretty confident in your abilities.
- You have a wealth of knowledge to assist and teach others.
- You have years of experience in your line of work.
- You take pride in being a problem solver, and people look to you for answers.
- You actively look for new ways to better yourself.
- The term DIGITAL FLUENCY gives you rumblings of fear, insecurity, concern, and “first-day” jitters.
- You know that Digital Fluency is THE skill to have, and you may be concerned that people will pass you by without it.
- You have a facebook, LinkedIN, and Twitter account but you are not using them to your advantage.
- Despite your long list of accomplishments, the social media world is leaving your self-esteem slightly bruised.
- Even though you have attended a workshop or two, for the first time in years you feel like you are at the starting gate.
If this sounds like you, take a deep breath. You are NOT ALONE! And, it’s okay to take on something new. You may FEEL like you are moving BACKWARDS, and a little unsteady in your knowledge, but remind yourself that you are really moving ahead. It’s never too late to get started. I know how it feels. I am still learning.
Sometimes you need to go backwards before you go forward.
Most babies don’t decide one day to stand, and put one foot in front of the other. In fact, many babies actually start rocking back and forth on their hands and knees. And, many actually start pushing/crawling BACKWARDS before they start going forward.
Do they feel bad about this? Do we get concerned that they are a complete failure? NO, of course not. We encourage, and they keep trying. Eventually with practice, and determination they reach their goal – and keep going.
Like many people out there, I’ve had an injury that caused body pain. Pain is downright depressing, and debilitating. Not surprisingly, I’ve gone through many types of treatments: Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Physiotherapy, Meditation, Exercise, etc.
Sometimes when you feel like you are going backwards in recovery, you are actually going forward. It was hard for me to understand this at first, but bones are being aligned, scar tissue is broken up, and your body is just trying to figure it all out. Eventually with perseverance, and treatment continuation, progress is made.
Okay, so now what do I do?
Lose Your Social Media Virginity!
- It’s going to happen sometime. It’s scary, but we all have to start somewhere.
- There is always a first tweet, profile update, blog, published article on LinkedIn, Group Chat….the list is endless.
- Beginnings are normal, and healthy.
- Get over your nerves! Once you start, you’ll be hooked!
Get over yourself!
- There will ALWAYS be people ahead of you, and there will ALWAYS be people behind you.
- We are ALL at different stages of learning when it comes to Digital Fluency.
- Look to those who are AHEAD of you in Fluency, and create a goal.
- Look to those who are BEHIND you in Fluency. Share what you have learned – and never judge.
- Ask questions! Read! Watch Videos! Join online groups! Join Twitter Chats!
Give yourself a kick!
- Do you remember that you were fearless as a kid? Trying something new was easy. It was NORMAL to not get-it-right the first time! Tap into your childhood, and dive in!
- We’ve all had emotional/physical pain to overcome. We’ve pushed through with perseverance and resilience. This is JUST social media. You’ve been through much worse, and managed to come out on the other side.
- EXPECT discomfort. Don’t be surprised by it.
- EXPECT progress. If you want it, it will happen!
Need a little more inspiration? Get Pam’s eBook: How Social Media is Changing Business… and what to do about it. It’s free for email subscribers – and don’t worry, we promise not to spam your inbox!
Check out these other blogs to increase your Digital Fluency:
How to Participate in a Twitter Chat.
How I Stopped Sucking at Networking – using Twitter.
How To Stack Your Crack – Tools for staying out of the social media spiral.
Learnings from Zappos – #insideZappos twitter chat.