Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 17th Feb 2010 12:29 UTC
Editorial Recently, a story about people mistaking a news story for the Facebook login page has received considerable media attention. It's currently being seen by many as justification for the recent trend in locking people out of their computers for their own protection - but anyone with even basic mathematical skills and a calculator should come to the conclusion that this story has been blown way out of proportion.
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Magic Box
by ido50 on Wed 17th Feb 2010 14:44 UTC
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People are idiots. They think the computer is a magic box. You just think of something, and it magically comes up. I found out a lot of people will never try to actually read what's on the screen. It's actually not just a computer-related problem, people are doing the same thing when it comes to newspapers, television, etc. It's just more prominent in the computer world.

My mother, for example, started taking an Arts course at a university just for fun, and she needs to connect to the university's system to read course material. Well, it's been hell ever since she started the course, since she never ever bothers to read whats on the screen, let alone try to navigate through it by herself. The first few times I logged in to the system for her, she just replied "well, where's all the material, I don't see it?" Well, you actually have to look if you wanna see it. Why not try the big link at the right menu that says "Course Material".

The problem is more prominent in the computer world since it's diverse and not that familiar for a lot of people. A newspaper or television set are familiar things, with more-or-less standard and consistent interfaces, and everybody knows how to use them (Though my mother has yet to figure out the concept of one remote control that powers up both the TV and the digital receiver). People are lost when it comes to computers, first because they refuse to read, second because they have never learned all the concepts involved. A lot of people do not know the concept of the URL, let alone what the Internet is, what's a computer program, what's a web browser, etc. etc.

My mother (jeez, I'm killing her here) thinks the Internet is "a thing". She often comes to me asking me to find something for her, like a Persian film for example, and she'd just go "Can you get on that Persian film for me?" and I would go "What do you mean get on it?" and she'd say "You know, on the Internet". So I say "You want me to download it for you so you can watch it?" and she'd say "Yes!" and then I'd ask "What Persian movie?" to which I will receive the illustrious "I don't know, that one" reply.

I really think I could start a "Basic Computer and Internet Usage" course on my town and make a freakin' fortune.

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