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What is a noun that means "the skill of being able to use technology efficiently or easily?"

Thanks

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    Which particular technology? Lots of different ones out there, so many people might use some proficiently, others not at all. As for instance, I make my living writing programs for supercomputers, but haven't the slightest idea how to work a TV remote control or use many Windows/iPhone apps. – jamesqf Jun 5 '15 at 23:53
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I think the most suitable single-word is tech-savvy. It is an informal word and it is defined as an adjective in dictionaries, but I see the noun usage also. (for example, the plural tech-savvies is not uncommon.)

Well informed about or proficient in the use of modern technology, especially computers [OD]

Note: OED gives techno-savvy also. Additionally, you can define the skill as tech-savviness informally. This word is not uncommon also.


Here are some noun options: (definitions from OED)

Closer to what you are asking:

  • technophile: a person who likes or readily adopts technology.

More specific and hard-core versions:

  • techno-nerd: a person who pursues an (obsessive) interest in, or is extremely knowledgeable about, technology, often regarded as lacking other interests, being socially inept, etc.
  • technomaniac: a person with a passionate enthusiasm for technology

Note: There are general words for the skill like know-how but you would say technical know-how to be specific and technique which defines a specific skill but usually in sports or art.

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The word that comes directly to mind to describe what you are requesting is

Technologist

The other term that is used to describe those that do not know of a world without a pervasively available Internet and always-connected devices at arm's length:

Digital Native

A Technologist is more someone who specializes in Technological things. Digital Native is used to describe someone who is proficient with technology without the need to specialize in it.

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    Technologist is rather a profession. "A person who studies or specializes in technology." [OED] – 0.. Jun 5 '15 at 16:41
  • I was making the update to my post as you were commenting. – K. Alan Bates Jun 5 '15 at 16:42
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    Digital Native: someone born with fingers. – njzk2 Jun 5 '15 at 20:15
  • No "digital native" would actually use the phrase "digital native", at least not around here. – neminem Jun 5 '15 at 23:38
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In my neck of the woods - originally from the UK - we simply call someone with such proficiency a techie which reference.com defines as "a person who is skilled in the use of technological devices, such as computers "

However, most such definitions rely on a fuzzy definition of the word 'technology'. Given that definitions of technology can be as broad as 'the way things are done around here' (Ursula Franklin) or 'Everything that doesn't work yet' (Danny Hillis) or "Ways that people get complicated things done" (Bessant & Francis) or "Anything invented after you were born" (Alan Kay) it is important to identify the technology or family of technologies that your are talking about. A good user of language might be a linguist, someone that knows engines might be a mechanic, a builder of engines might be an engineer, and someone good with computers might be a geek, wizard or guru.

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  • A techie is more than just able to use technology efficiently, though. For instance, an office lady who’s good at using Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and the local accounts program is able to use technology efficiently, but she’s not a techie (at least not because of that). Being a techie is more about expertise and enthusiasm for tech stuff than just simple ability to use it well. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 5 '15 at 22:52
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    A good user of language is not a linguist - that refers to someone trained in the academic study of language. – curiousdannii Jun 5 '15 at 22:59
  • I find it very difficult to link 'wizard' or 'guru' with computers. It is certainly not self-evident, unlike 'techie'. – mafu Jun 6 '15 at 18:18
  • Fair point about the linguist! Maybe 'rhetorician' would be better. A techie is explicitly skilled in a range of technologies, rather than simply being able to use a specific technology efficiently or easily. I think that might have been the intent of the question, but it comes back to the fuzziness of the definition: is it about using a specific technology well, or having broader technical skills? – Jon Dron Jun 6 '15 at 18:20
  • @mafu - those terms are used by geeks to describe people with a high level of skill in computing. It's part of the geek lingo. – Jon Dron Jun 6 '15 at 18:22
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There's no single word for this, but for competent, well-informed use of technology (without necessarily being able to create new programs, etc.), use the noun phrase "technical literacy". This is in a fairly high style register, and a technically literate person doesn't necessarily work with technology for a living.

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Computer literate comes to mind, and apparently digital literacy is supposed to be a term now.

I think they're both too unspecific to mean anything useful, but they haven't been mentioned. (Technical literacy mentioned in another answer).

Since you mention becoming adept "easily," I wonder if you're looking for a technology equivalent of natural athlete or natural pilot, in which case you can apply natural to whatever skill or profession you please.

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Well, you'd have to add a descriptive word to it, but proficiency nails down the "use efficiently or easily" part.. So "technology proficiency" would do.

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Our school has researched this question because the idea of "one who is skilled in the use of technology" is one of our School-Wide Learning Expectations. "Technologically Literate" seems to be the only way to describe what you (and we) are looking for, even though it is not a noun. There does not seem to be a simple noun that can be used the way you want, which is unfortunate because we really need one. Our other ESLRs follow an adjective-noun pattern and this is an adverb-adjective pattern or, less frequently, an adverb-noun pattern. For the sake of parallelism, a simple noun is preferred.

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I have seen the word "Technocrat" used in this context.

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  • Hi, and thanks for taking the time to post under this question. It's great that you want to help. However, this answer doesn't really seem to be a full answer. When answering it's best, in the case of single-word-requests, give a good explanation why the word you're suggesting is a good one. If necessary quote and reference a dictionary. – Matt E. Эллен Jun 5 '15 at 20:35

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