Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. — Arthur C. Clarke
I don’t mind helping older adults with their computer or technological issues. It makes me feel like a genius.
In truth, I know little more than how to restart a computer or connect the output to the input lines, but nonetheless, for forty-five seconds to a minute (however long it takes me to show that the removal of a shortcut on the desktop doesn’t mean the program’s deleted) I get to appear as a technological wizard.
And the power is intoxicating.
But at the rate technology is increasing, I wonder if I, too, will one day stumble across some technology when older (I’m already the ripe age of 23) and be confounded by it. Even now, Twitter moves too fast for me, Instagram is full of pictures I don’t take, and Tumblr…all I know about it is that typos are permissible in the title of a billion dollar company.
Still, I consider myself up to date and capable on most technological projects. However, if you asked me to diagnose a car, or cook a meal without using the microwave, or unscrew a screw (actually I know that one—righty tighty, lefty loosey) I would have to ask one of the older adults, three paragraphs earlier, I playfully jabbed.
Technology, like anything else, though, is just another facet of knowledge. However, because it has become so ingrained in our lives, it is one area that ignorance of it, creates an exclusion from social interaction. Whereas I could go through my life these days without knowing how to drive yet still having friends, I would struggle to do the same if I didn’t know how to use the internet.
Now, I’m not saying everyone needs to go out there and become jedi masters of the computer, but I am saying that it would be useful to teach yourself how to use the search bar in your email. For once you understand the general interface of computer programs, it essentially applies to all others.
Like anything, it begins with trial and error. And frustration. Lots of frustration. But once you can admit that you’re unsure about your actions, you’ll find that most everything on computers—web browsers, scanners, how to make a youtube video go fullscreen—are really quite intuitive.
And seriously, if you don’t know something, just type it into Google. I almost guarantee that someone has asked your question before. And, for reasons I don’t understand, some other random schmuck has answered it.