Dealing with the technologically illiterate

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by glocke12, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #1
    I am 43, and for the most part am surrounded by people who are pretty literate when it comes to technology. By this I mean they have a computer, know how to turn it on and off, create, open, save files, and also own a smart phone of some type.

    But there is a small subset of people I know that are basically illiterate when it comes to technology. They refuse to get an email account for whatever reason, and instead rely on the phone to communicate all the time, they are still stuck on CD's as a medium of exchanging music (Im talking about non commercial releases here), as far as I am concerned CDs are pretty much obsolete as a medium of trading files, and make absolutely no effort to learn how to use this technology that is very widespread now, and in other 5-10 years will be even more present in our every day lives.

    This was brought home this past weekend when a band I play in gave me a list of a bunch of tunes they have in their repertoire. It was handwritten on no less than 5 separate pieces of paper, was rife with errors ranging from things spelled so incorrectly that I have no idea what it is supposed to be, to songs that were duplicated on each piece of paper.

    In all fairness these guys are 50 and up so are about ten years my senior, but most of this stuff really is not that hard to learn how to use.

    What the heck are these guys gonna do in another ten years when being technologically illiterate is going to be even more of a handicap than it is now???
     
  2. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #3
    Depends on the dog to tell when they become old or not. I'm with glocke12 age-wise and certainly not adverse to learning anything new, especially if it makes my life simpler, like getting rid of as much optical/magnetic removable media and paper that I can.

    The one I don't get is the folks younger than I who still write paper checks.

    B
     
  4. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #4
    Many people will likely retire before it really matters.

    But the younger generation who are technologically "illiterate" (they know how to use Facebook and IM, and that's about it) are facing a handicap, I hope.

    Why do I hope? So I'd get their jobs! :D
     
  5. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #5
    lol I look at it the same way. It just means less competition for my chosen field and along with people who will be paying me far amount of money for my time.

    Basically the technological illiterates will become future clients :-D
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #6
    Honestly, it infuriates me how people just seem to willfully stop learning at a certain age and resist change. Change is the one constant and the most thrilling thing in life! I'm 43 myself and constantly try to push myself to try new things. Stagnating is not my style. I do not like to sit still for long. My biggest fear is that something will happen to immobilize me physically in some way.
     
  7. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #7

    It is infuriating. I've always been one to embrace technology, at first it was simply out of a desire to have the latest, greatest gadget, but anymore it is because all of this technology can now make our lives so much easier and less complicated it is amazing.

    I am just amazed that other people do no embrace it as much. Its been going on a good 4-5 years (however long itunes has been out) that I have stored all my music collection onto CD, this is 500+ CD's, and most people I know have done the same, yet alot of my "caveman" friends refuse to do this. I was at one friends house this past weekend, and the guy spent the better part of an hour going through his CD collection looking for ONE cd...I could not imagine having to do that.
     
  8. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #8
    Yeah, that's just crazy. I don't get it either. It's not that hard to learn how to use this stuff. Of course, I''ve always been the kind of person that has to tear something apart and put it back together so I know how it works. I understand that not everyone is that way, but really? It's not that hard to learn to use new tech.
     
  9. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #9
    There's a flip side to this argument, also. There are young people who are technologically literate but have difficulty with manual tasks. Can't tie a shoe after being raised on velcro. Unable to use a hand can opener after pop tops and electric openers. I'm 63 and I keep up with all new technology, but I also nourish my pioneer spirit. I know how to grow food, can and the like. I helped build a log cabin with hand tools and a chain saw. I'm proud of myself for being able to do that. If the world ever crumbles, I have a better chance of sticking around.

    Dale
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
  11. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #11
    I'm sorry man, but as hard as I try, I just can't quit her!
     
  12. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #12
    And what about those people who still talk to each other in person? Crazy.
     
  13. (marc) macrumors 6502a

    (marc)

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    the woods
    #13
    Exactly! Using Facebook isn't that difficult. I push myself to do it every day!
     
  14. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #14
    We are moving towards the "toaster" computer. Right now it could be called the iPad. The only real challenge is learning how to navigate the interface.

    Disclaimer: I don't own an iPad so I don't really know how much tinkering can be done.
     
  15. R94N macrumors 68020

    R94N

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    Heh, my Grandad's 80 and works the computer, his satnav and his MP3 Player just fine. I suppose there are always exceptions.
     
  16. Cuddles macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    #16
    And a flip side to this. I can google anything I ever want to learn how to do. It doesn't take much skill to make something like a log cabin. Now, to have the drive, determination and know the tips and tricks to building it - yes, you would have an advantage.

    As far as technology illiterate people...argh. Everyday of my life. Everyday. I need a job in the technology industry.
     
  17. MentalFabric macrumors 6502

    MentalFabric

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    #17
    I agree there are some people who really just don't care and would much rather get someone they know to google it for them than god forbid learn something themselves... but those people keep IT staff well paid and healthy so we can't leave them to starve yet ;)

    That said though, and even being an IT guy, I much prefer to handwrite lyrics/creative writing. Much more of the original intent seems to be preserved in hand-written text..
     
  18. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #18
    I consider myself to be technologically literate. I had every CD inside iTunes within a month of moving to Macs. I do my banking online, and I've stopped printing hardcopies of the reports for the two volunteer boards I sit on (Today I start a new experiment... I've been appointed 'Secretary' for one and the first meeting is in a few hours.)

    However.... Designer Dale has a point. We too are growing more of our food. I write paper cheques to friends (just because you can transfer money electronically, doesn't mean it's easier).

    I was reading a review in another tech magazine (website, not paper) about a wall mounting system for an iPad and just about LoL'd. One of the things the reviewer really liked is that there was a video on how to install the wall mount. It was a small plastic disk with a single screw through the middle. But there was still a video.

    I'll bet Designer Dale gets why that is funny. ;) I wonder if my 20-something nephew does?

    I also wonder who is going to have an easier time when the power goes out? And I don't mean for an hour or two. My big fear is climate change (human caused or natural makes no difference) is going to disrupt our technologically advanced world with more frequent and more severe storms in the coming years.

    I still make lists with pencil and paper. 'cause sometimes it's just easier....
     
  19. glocke12 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    #19
    Yes, but you probably would not distribute multiple copies of your lyric sheets to band members by handwriting individual copies
     
  20. LordDixon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2010
    #20
    I don't think there is a such thing as people being technology illiterate. I think people don't know how to read, comprehend or follow instructions. Introduce "technology illiterate" people to any new concept, it doesn't matter what it is, using a tool, managing their money, even scheduling their daily affairs and you will get the exact same result.

    They are not technology literate, they think we always had facebook, text messages and instant communication where ever we go. This isn't bad, but they are lazy. No one has ever made them work for the tools to do all this stuff. As far as being aware of the technology they are using, they have no idea. Except for the nerds with no life.
     
  21. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #21
    No offense to anyone, but I'm a 14 year old guy and I find that many teenage girls at my school are technology illiterate. Stuff like... tons of them don't know about the "rest of the internet" apart from Facebook =P It can be quite funny.
     
  22. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #22
    This is part of what I was talking about. Just because it requires no technology skill doesn't mean it requires little skill, just a different skill set. You would need to see the house to appreciate the challenge. The frame is log and the siding is milled wood. There was no water or electricity at the build site on the side of a mountain. We planned one night and worked the next. I Googled log home construction and found nothing that would have been of help during construction. The homeowner is a blacksmith and made a lot of the key supports that hold the house together. I'd love to post a pic, but this isn't a picture thread.

    Dale
     
  23. Cuddles macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    #23
    But it IS relavent to what we are talking about. PM it to me then!
     
  24. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #24
    Very true.

    There are a lot of skill sets that are quite useful which you only can learn by doing things.

    Living in a house with all those problems/things to do really is revealing about where your strengths/weaknesses are in terms of skill sets.
     
  25. neko girl macrumors 6502a

    neko girl

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    #25
    Maybe like hitting your head on a wall, but I like to teach people what little I know about tech so that they can try and pick it up themselves. i think it takes a few tries. Be patient!
     

Share This Page