Years ago, my Mother commented to my Step-Father: “Do you realize that we are illiterate when it comes to computers.” My Step-Father bristled at the idea that he was illiterate about anything. I find myself in similar circumstances. On my computer, I can email and look up information. I know how to find Youtube and view videos. I recently learned how to cut and paste. I have this blog which my husband set up for me. I’m constantly hitting keys that take me to God only knows where and I don’t know how to put things right so I have to wait for him to help me. I’m becoming a little more literate as time passes. My husband recently set up a spreadsheet for me to do our budgeting and I know a little about that, but mostly, it’s slow going.
I have a standard cell phone. No bells or whistles. I don’t know how to text. I used to know how to text on my old phone, but once the format changed, I couldn’t figure it out again. I’m sure if someone showed me, I could get on top of it again.
My son has an Itouch and an Iphone. If we’re talking about something and we don’t know the answer, he pulls his Iphone out of his pocket and gets all the information on the topic that we need. He checks and sends emails on his Iphone and texts so fast, I don’t know how his fingers can find the keys. I asked him to let me try a text and it took me five minutes to send my oldest son a message telling him that I loved him. The keys are so small that I had trouble operating the Iphone, let alone going fast. My grandson can use the Itouch like nobody’s business. His little thumb scrolls across the screen quickly and he knows exactly how to get to where he wants to go. He’s 3 years old. He’s going to be a whiz when it comes to computers.
I realize that the world is passing me by and that I need to learn how to become more literate on the computer. My husband doesn’t have an Iphone, but when he gets one, he won’t have any trouble figuring it out. It’s troubling that this is all happening so fast. It’s not like you just learn the alphabet and then you can read. It’s much more complicated. There’s entire generations out in our world who know nothing about computers. People who are too poor to own computers are going to be left out of this literacy program. There are going to be a lot of people left behind. Look at China and all the people who live in villages where there are no internet services. Look at Somalia where they have trouble just getting a meal. I’m sure the last thing on their minds is computer literacy.
The good thing is, if you have the capability for computer use, it’s never to late to start. Most colleges have computer courses and for those brave souls, there is the figure it out as you go sort of method. I’m sure there’s probably a Dummies book out there to help someone learn how to use basic computer skills.
If you have a chance to learn how to use the computer and you’re not taking it, you will probably be sorry. No one wants to be illiterate. The world is evolving and computers are the way the world is growing. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Jump on and take the ride. Besides, it’s fun!