The Internet, email, dvd players, picture/video mobiles – things that we are surrounded by on a daily basis. We nearly grew up with them, but not quite. It’s only within the last 5-10 years that they have become mainstream, even so, the majority of our generation know how to use them. It’s our parents that seem to be playing catch-up the whole time.
Computers – specifically email and the Internet – seem to cause the most confusion amongst the ‘rents. Where we will happily click around until we reach our goal – be that something specific like finding information on the Internet, or just figuring out how something works by clicking through every menu option and trying things here and there. Parents, on the other hand, have to know what each click is going to do – and more often than not they believe that clicking a link/button is going to delete the contents of their hard drive or somehow make the computer explode.
This can’t be blamed on the software developers/designers, as they try their best to help us out. If something drastic is going to happen, or an action needs immediate attention, a pop-up message will be displayed explaining what is happening and what needs to be done. Ok, so sometimes these are not so obvious and there are hundreds of websites on the subject.
It amuses me when my mother gets a message such as:
An error has occured with your anti-virus software. Please close all programs and restart the computer.
Windows Error Message
From downstairs: ‘Marley… something’s popped up on the computer. It says restart the computer. What should I do?’
What more can you do? We’ve become free technical support for our parents – I wonder what our children will be helping us with!
P.S. My mum is actually a whiz on the Internet – even uses msn messenger – but I think the introduction to ebay might have been a bad idea. Window cills are rapidly filling with random bits and pieces.