Fantastic piece by David Hepworth on how people are starting to sound silly when they say things are too technical for them, or that they don’t understand computers:
Our adoption of this technology has been so seamless that we’ve been taught how to use the technology by the technology itself. The only people who have trouble are people who have decided to have trouble.
My parents, bless them, are a perfect example of two perfectly intelligent people who still struggle with even the simplest of technical tasks.
The problem for them, and for many other people I might guess, is that they don’t understand some of the fundamental concepts behind using a computer. File management is a mystery, for example. They don’t get the basic thinking behind a folder, which is within another folder, and so on. They don’t have the basic skills.
The greater problem though, as the quote above suggests, is that they ‘decide to have trouble’. Rather than spend a couple of hours working a problem out, they lose patience and abandon whatever it is they intended to do. Which means they never learn. When the problem crops up again, they do the same thing. It’s so infuriating.
But you know who I blame for all of this? PC World. Well, PC World and PC manufacturers in general. Instead of selling computers to ordinary people based on how easy they are to use, or with a handy in-store tutorial from someone who has the patience of a saint, they blind them with tech specs that sound great, but mean nothing.
The result is this: my father, who I care for a great deal, believes that Google is the internet, which is ridiculous, yet equally so, should you ask him, he could tell you the speed of his laptop’s CPU.
I mean, come on.