Technologically Incompetent

Today has been a particularly trying day. Between the absolutely horrendous traffic this morning and the various things that have happened today, it’s a wonder my husband and I are both still sane.

I walked in to my autoCAD class at 8.00am and did my own thing to get ready for the day as I usually do every week since I’m always the first to arrive. Not 5 minutes after I sat down, the second earliest girl (who also happens to be the one with the most to say) walks in and starts complaining about how slow her computer was. She then asked me, “How do you know if your computer has a virus?”

As I was about to start answering her, she cut me off and repeated her question. Then before I could say anything else, she yammers on about how she doesn’t really know much about computers and that she only uses the computer for autoCAD purposes. Another classmate of mine walked in and she repeated the question again to him. At this point, he and I exchanged a look – we were the most technologically savvy people in the room and ironically both of us were pushing thirty while almost the rest of the class were late teens.

Without skipping a beat, the girl yammers again, this time telling us that, “I use something called E-Explorer or something…” and both the dude and  I said, “NO! You do not use Internet Explorer!” to which she responded with a high pitched, “Then what do I use???” (Extra question marks to show emphasis of her confusion). Then the dude went over to where she was sitting and told her that she needs to use either Google Chrome or Firefox to which her response was, “What is that?? How I do I get them?”

At this point, after being interrupted several times despite my willingness to help her, I was irritated. I wanted her to shut her mouth and let us help her. Instead, she continues to talk. Dude had already started helping her by looking through the list of programs she had in her computer – he found some very questionable programs like “Speed Browser” that she insisted she didn’t download.

By now, I had ignored the both of them because if I didn’t, I think I would’ve snapped at the girl and told her to shush. It’s one thing being a damsel-in-distress, it’s completely another to yammer incessantly instead of allowing the people to help you.

I also don’t understand how a young person today don’t know how to work a computer. They seem to know their phones and iPads quite well. But not a computer? It baffles me how someone as old as I am can still work a computer really well and be updated to new things while a young person who is supposed to have grown up with technology can’t.

Is it because this younger generation are merely users? That they just know how to use a thing but not fix it? Is it because they’re also a generation of throwing things away and buying new things when something breaks?

If ever the electricity were to go out forever in this world (the way it did in the TV show Revolution), then I’m quite sure that this generation will probably be the first go go since they have no idea how to fix or build anything. Of course, I might just be presuming based on my observations of the young people I encounter in college and there might be a majority of young people who actually know how to do things outside of their gadgets but as far as I’ve seen, they really know little about the very technology that they have come to be dependent to.

I think in a way, we’re all guilty of putting our entire trust in our gadgets and apps.

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