Quite often, we hear the phrase, “I’m not computer savvy” or “I’m technologically challenged”. These phrases surprise me. For all the hype that surrounds these SmartPhones we line up for on launch day, most consumers know almost nothing about them. In fact, most users couldn’t name 10 new features on an upcoming product, but are willing to pay $1000 to get it. This is concerning.

I usually use the “10 New Features” question to help people decide whether or not to upgrade to the newest iteration, and most people fail this simple quiz. I believe we, as humans, are simply afraid of being left behind. However, if we don’t understand these new devices and what their full potential is, then we are still not caught up.

And, I get it. I want the latest and greatest, as well. However, I like to spend hours researching the thing I’m about to purchase, and I recommend everybody do this too. It’s also quite easy to do. “But I don’t have the time to research,” I can hear you saying already. Well, I’m here to tell you, that is NOT true.

We can start with a simple trade-off. Take one hour out of the useless things you do on your smartphone or computer, and use them to do valuable studying, through tech articles, video reviews or even the source website itself. Before you know it, the time you spend scrolling through endless social media posts, is taken over by more interesting and factual information you can actually use.

Let me tell you something else. Doing this becomes addicting. It’s a rabbit hole of information. Soon enough, you become an expert on something you never even knew you’d learn about. The devices we spend so much time and money on, should help us learn about itself and the world around us. And it is important to start now, because of how badly our education system is doing, we will be learning about everything through these devices.

Education will be replaced by websites like Lynda.com, Khan Academy, Udemy, and many others. But we must become proficient with the tools given to us, and computer technology is this century’s most important tool. You wouldn’t go to school without learning how to properly use a pencil, would you? The same applies to our lovable pocket gadgets we carry with us every day.

So, take some time to use your devices as learning tools, because the future won’t wait.