Right now, I’m taking one of my semi-frequent evening walks, thinking random thoughts and something I tweeted about briefly yesterday comes to mind and I decide to write a post about it (and post before I get home).
A former colleague of mine I who I’d lost contact with buzzed and after the pleasantries and catching up, he said he called because he had a tech issue and I came to mind. (If only people would also remember me like that when money’s involved…lol…I’ll probably be retired now).
His issue was that he had forgotten his email password and one of the security answers he gave when setting the email up and wanted to know if I could help. First thing that came to mind was to recommend one of those Chinese herbal memory boosting drugs you see being peddled around but the dominant (and nicer) side of me thankfully took charge of the situation. (Seriously though, asking someone else for help when you have forgotten your password is quite silly…if someone else’s meant to be able to access your password, isn’t the aim of having a password in the first place defeated?).
I nudged my brain a bit and remembered that firefox stored your passwords (if you let it) so I asked him to open firefox and gave him directions, which I thought he was following till at some point where he couldn’t find where “tools” was, after nudging my brain further to remember where it was on all the older versions of firefox, and a lot more troubleshooting, some 25 minutes later, I realize he was trying to google firefox on internet explorer! *sigh*
Story over, now to the point of the post, why are people so afraid of technology (at least some of it?)
Everyday tech is pretty basic, using a DSTV remote or playing a console game are more complex forms of tech than say…using a pc for basic things, yet I find that people who can program shows to record on a PVR or do complex combos on their consoles without breaking a sweat still right-click to open a folder in 2012! So to get to your program files on a pc, 3 or 4 right clicks? If it were meant to be that complex to open a folder, I’m pretty sure there’ll still be a high stack of physical paper folders on every desk and not computers. There are people who can use DSTV remotes but are stomped by a simple air conditioner remote…some drive cars but need someone else to load Cds into the car cd-player before they leave home, or those that open a browser, type www.google.com, wait for it to load, then search www.yahoomail.com to when they want to check their emails…I could go on.
The thing is, if you use one remote it REALLY isn’t that much different from the other…or a computer…or a game console for that matter. So why then is there apathy for some tech and none for others?
There are many theories, that revolve around it not being in our nature (whatever that means)…or a lack of interest. I tend to disagree with both views. The first because there are loads of compelling arguments that state that science and technology were birthed in Africa (no, I would not put a source link…do some mental exercise…google it..lol); I disagree with the interest argument too seeing as most of these technophobes unknowingly master one form of tech or the other and a lot of such try to learn to an extent (e.g those that go and “learn computer” at “computer schools”).
My theory (just that, a theory) is that it has something to do with the way we learn things over here, we aren’t necessarily taught to explore, or challenge the status quo, rather we are taught to remember the stuff as it is, cram it even and regurgitate that info when needed, that’s why you get taught to right-click to open a folder (at “computer school”) and it sticks for life. Whereas in the case of a DSTV remote, no one teaches you to use that, u pick it up and try to figure it out.
PS: I’m sorry, I didn’t expect it to be this long or this random…lol…and if you understand the  and [/] please accept that you are a geek…(I’m not…I googled it) 😀