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The natives are revolting ?

With the advancement of the internet into so many places (I know of people who have surfed the ‘net whilst in the toilet !) – it’s something that I kinda take for granted.

I’ve had broadband at home for over 6.5 years now, since July 2000 (2 weeks after moving in !)

But, there are some friends and family who don’t have a computer – or are (even) on a dial-up ! Incomprehensible to me, and to my “techno-pals” – you know who you are.

Aside from the internet, there are many other technologies & phrases that I consider fairly common-place – such as mobile phones, BlueTooth, DVD, MP3, DivX and so on.

Even reading blogs – like this one ! I don’t know of any of my friends outside of work & colleagues that would even KNOW what a blog is – or where to read – or why.

It’s not until you talk to someone who’s battling to keep their head above water, with regard to technology – that you realise how fast it’s going.

I do consider myself fairly well-knowledgeable “technically” – although some days I struggle with stuff like HDMI and High Def (720i, 1080p, etc) – and other new stuff arriving daily – BluRay and HD-DVD within the last year or so, for example.

When talking with a relative today, she was in a tirade about BlueTooth – and “why is it called that ? It’s such a stupid name – makes it sounds like some sort of gum-disease.” (!)

Her mobile phone had died, and she was bamboozled by a new Nokia phone – with sooo many features – “I just want a phone !” she said.

Furthermore, she was complaining about Google being “stuffed” – and not working.

She had a URL from the newpaper – www.villagecinemas.com.au – to check out some movie times. She opened her browser, and started typing it in.

But “google came back with a list of junk” – she said that she’d just “typed where it was flashing” (?)

I then worked out that she had Google as her home page – and she’d actually typed the URL into the “search box” – rather than the “address bar” !

Before you laugh – think of how your mother, or grandmother would tackle something like this. And then, think how you’d (try) to explain it to them.

(And then think of how you’d answer my Mum’s question – “what sort of engine is the search engine ? how much petrol would it use ? who pays for it ?”)

Stop laughing – I can hear you now.

Would you respond “You’re too dumb to own a computer” ?!? That’s just MEAN.

It all comes back to what you know & how you learn I guess. And, then there’s the concept of “digital immigrants” and “digital natives”.

Where the “natives” are those who’ve grown up in a digital world – not many teenagers would know life “pre-internet” – or without a mobile phone.

The “immigrants” are those who’ve been thrust into this new land – and are struggling with the culture, language and so on.

Yes – they’ll eventually either assimilate, or die off (time marches on).

But, we have to get along for now – with me trying to explain how to open a web page – as well as daily work that actually “creates” a web-page.

Do you stuggle to explain “simple” concepts like this ? Yes – it’s simple to me/us – but not to all.

Have we become too knowledgeable ?

Are we the “digital-elite” ? Or are we digital-snobs ?

It does make me wonder what sort of technological wondery that Cameron (now nearly 2) will be a part of.

And how long before it’s ME asking him how something works. I reckon it’ll be before he turns 10.

2015 – we’ll wait and see !

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One Response

  1. Ignorance is when you don’t ask questions but assume you have the answer to all problems.

    Did you know one of the largest percentile user base online is the “Baby Boomers” a slice of audience that are basically “learning new things every day”.

    Yet, these folk have the deepest wallets when it comes to online consumption of goods (average spend approx $1500 per month online).

    So next on the phone with a “Too Dumb to use the computer” think about who these folks are and what they are doing.

    Glad you gave this person the time of day, more i say! 🙂

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