Thursday, August 07, 2014

Art Online: How tech savvy are you?

Do you need to be tech savvy as an artist?

I'm delivering a workshop tomorrow about how to get your art online. One of the first issues I'm addressing is how "tech savvy" people are - helped by OFCOM's new research report on how Techie teens are shaping communications

Critical issues relating to getting their art online for many artists include:
  • how familiar they are with technology and associated software
  • how confident they are that they can understand and use them properly
In other words a lot of the practical issues relate to how tech savvy they are!  My workshop will be looking at ways to improve how tech savvy you are.

Testing your digital quotient 

Did you know your digital quotient can be measured? This is a technical term for how tech savvy you are.

Did you know that:
  • 6-7 year olds have an average DQ (digital quotient) score of 98 (if exposed to new technology and its uses), 
  • 45 and 49 year olds score an average of 96. (Think about it and reread the first bullet point!)
  • Digital understanding peaks in those aged 14-15 years-old. On average their DQ is 113. 
  • Being tech savvy falls off with age after 15 and after age 45 it is below average.
  • more than 60% of people aged 55 and over have a below average 'DQ' score
However this is all to do with the amount of technology we are exposed to, how frequently we use it ("use it or lose it"), how hard we try to understand it and the amount of help we get with using it.

Which is how I explain my tech savvy score of 117 - see my score result below - and I'm having a major birthday later this year and am already drawing a pension!

You too can get your tech savvy score using an abbreviated version of the OFCOM Digital Quotient questionnaire

My Tech savvy score using an abbreviated version of the questionnaire
Being tech savvy and communicating effectively as an artist (e.g. having an effective website and presence on social media) doesn't "just happen" if you are no longer in your teens and twenties.  You can devise strategies to improve how tech savvy you are.

My personal view is that I only got a relatively high tech savvy score by working away at understanding new technology and what it can do - and using the resources made available by people (often online) which help me to learn.

So three questions:
  • How tech savvy are you?  (I dare you to share your score!)
  • Is your score better or worse than the average for your age?
  • What are YOUR effective strategies for improving how tech savvy you are?
More about this on this blog in the coming months..........

Incidentally I highly recommend a read of the OFCOM report if you want to see into the future in terms of how communication within the art market will change. I'll also come back to this in a future blog post.

Link: View Ofcom’s 2014 Communications Market Report


  1. Interesting and results pretty much what would be expected for the age groups and exposure to technology.

    As an artist, I have to be face and eyes into technology (the same at the day job) to keep a presence in the world. Its just how exposure works these days.

    My score was 122, so for an "over 55" I was an exception to the norm for that age group. I think it depends on occupation and what technology you use that drives ones competency in it and its various forms.

  2. Us oldies can still 'cut the mustard' Linda! No idea what the latest techie version of that phrase is though!

  3. I'm 64 and scored 129. But there were 2 questions that I wan't sure how they would rate. 1st I prefer talking to friends more than texting unless I need to convey precise info. 2nd. I can function and know what to do without technology. While I do occasionally digitally paint, most is with pigments. I still know how to use a film camera. I guess what it really means, is that I can fall back on older technology, which is still newer than it was 200+ years ago.

  4. I got 116, though I think the test measured mostly how many devices you use, and how willingly you embrace new ones, not how WELL you use them. Nonetheless, it was a nice perk to the day to have someone tell me I'm not technologically behind!

  5. 113 - despite not having any kind of smartphone and answering never to the does your family ask you about gadgets question. But then, most of my family are computer experts and I probably first used a PC in around 1978!

  6. 119 ( I am a pensioner who will be 70 soon)

  7. 116 for me, and I think Cindy makes a good point based on this short version of the test.
    "... how many devices you use... not how well you use them..."
    I would add to that, would using some devices more often than others and using some devices more thoroughly affect your tech score?
    That may have been addressed on the longer version.

    I tend to use a computer and iPad more often than a mobile phone for many tasks, the mobile phone screen is just too small! But younger generations embrace their phones a lot more. They use them for everything it seems, posting to social media sites etc.
    I primarily use the phone for calls.

    I don't use Google glasses or that watch at all but am familiar with the technology behind them from reading about them so that probably contributes to raising my score.

  8. 56 with a score of 117,not too shabby!

  9. 131 and I just recently entered a new age group (not quite ready to admit which group publicly yet). But my excuse is that I work in tech and live in Silicon Valley, so a high score doesn't mean much in context. And for all that, it's why I embrace the simpler things that have little to do with technology.

  10. I got 103, which is almost dead on for my age (which I realise I am now giving away), and has made me feel predictable, a number, like the matrix has me. I'll see if a few YouTube how-to's won't up my score over the next several months.


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