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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, maybe not all aspects of technology like hardware and coding. But I'm talking about those who are unwilling to adapt and learn. That's what pisses me off the most. The "I'm too old for this techno mumbo jumbo" mindset is one of the most flawed reasons I have ever heard. The more these people think this way the more they'll become the mindset. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Not understanding a certain problem or aspect of technology is one thing and I'm always willing to help whenever I can. But it's near impossible to add onto a brick wall that comes crumbling down because of a shattered foundation.

What it really comes down to is: Survival of the technologically fittest. Those who fail to adapt with the times lose out on opportunities and will become irrelevant.

Am I the only person who feels this way in the Technological Age? Because it really does feel like I'm "that guy" who helps everyone with their problems, big or small. It gets frustrating half the time when I deal with folks who can't even help themselves.

*Personal rant*
I shouldn't have to be your god damn personal Google search for a local bank's phone number when you have your own phone/iPad/computer. It takes you longer if you send me the address AND wait for a response. Wtf.
 

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I guess it doesnt really bug me the same way I am sort of on the swing generation there where I am old enough to remember when internet was obsolete, and when dial up was exciting, but was in my 20's when it progressed.

As much as I love electronics and the internet I think its made society stupid as hell and co dependent so there might be something with those older generations that didnt embrace it as it progressed.

But I can see why you would find it irritating to be doing other peoples searches if they are regularly dependent on it they should learn the basics rather then rely on you. I mean fuck if my 70 year old grandma can manage to text me, and my 70 year old grandpa manage to delve into computers its surely possible for any basic able bodied person to learn google.

My mom is kind of like what your talking about. Probably doesnt bug me tho because I dont live with her. But I am pretty sure she asks my brother and stepdad to look up alot of stuff.

I am not sure that I agree with the survival of the technology fittest and that those who do not adapt loose out, theres something to be gained with life without technology. I am extremely glad I grew up as a 90s kid rather then generation Z. I am just saying that we had plenty of luxuries in terms of entertainment but we were also a much more hands on generation and its because even tho we had technology it was not in over abundance.

Not to dispute your entire view tho because as I said I think anyone who depends on others to do something should care to learn the basics. But theres something to be said for simplfying life with less technology too. Its almost annoying how many people are consumed with devices during human interaction so often now.

I do like progression and technology but I just dont think it should be a social standard as far as whether people or stuff is obsolete.
 

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I never learned much about the technology I am using and I lack the time and interest to start learning. I use company tech support services to solve the problems that I cannot troubleshoot on my own. I am not losing out on opportunities that I believe are valuable. Many important opportunities are organic and require actually getting up and going outside.

I think in many cases adaptation equates to learning something redundant and expensive. There is no point in purchasing a tablet when one already has a computer and a mobile phone.

People do also ask me about things that could have been looked up on their own and I am not shy about encouraging them to take responsibility and use their own resources.
 

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I agree that a minimum level of technical literacy is necessary in modern society but it's unreasonable to expect everyone to be experts. If everyone was knowledgeable and had a "knack" for technology, my future career would be threatened (planning on becoming a software engineer soon) xD. Many will argue with other aspects of life too. For example, I couldn't care less about politics yet most people over 40 years of age would say "if you don't vote you don't deserve to live" or something along those lines. Generation is not really an excuse, but age can be. When we're young, we do most of our learning and are more adaptable and accepting of change so it's natural to expect older people to find it more difficult to learn new things or break their habits.

Overall I think there's a balance - as with everything in life. We have to put technological literacy into perspective. Even the most technical of people would struggle to completely explain every little detail of how things work. At the end of the day if they can at least learn how to use tech to do basic things to meet their daily needs then it's their preference whether they are interested in learning more or not. But yeah there is a minimum - it's like, there's a minimum amount of food we need to consume in order to live. Hypothetically the same applies with tech
 

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On the contrary, I think it's ridiculous to expect people that are over 70 years of age to be able to use the internet and smartphones with ease. These people grew up when typewriters were a big thing. I'm not sure what the age is, but I think there's a point where you just can't teach an old dog new tricks, as the saying goes. And technology today advances at such a rapid pace I think when we're 70 we'll be more out of place than them.
 

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I get what the OP is saying. I'm the techy person on my team and everyone relies on me as well. Even though we have an IT department they call me first. I absolutely get frustrated with co-workers not getting things or even attempting a google search to figure it out on their own. I just search it and regurgitate it and let people call me a genius.

My family does the same thing, they know we are computer savvy and lean on my husband and I for questions and tech help. I do also agree that the people that are 60+ now didn't grow up with the rapidly changing technology that we have now and shouldn't be expected to.
 

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Same rant here, OP. Aside from older people who have trouble using a toaster, no excuses. Even worse, if you can spend 10+ hours on social media, you can type your #$%^&@! search into Google.

I've gotten to the point that I'll start acting confused or give useless answers to codependent people who expect me to figure out every aspect of their lives, until they start thinking I don't know what I'm doing, and go bug someone else.

As for the ones that brag that they're too old (yes, it's a weird form of bragging), I ask them point blank, "Are you planning on dying in the next few years?" Most think about it and realize they'd like to be around for another decade or so, and sooner or later I'll see them using whatever piece of technology they previously ignored.

Of course, it gets a little awkward if they are planning on dying in the next few years. :dry:
 

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Why do you care so much? If they want to be idiots and refuse to learn something just let them be idiots and miss out on technological advancement. What relevance does it have to you and your ability to live your life anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am not sure that I agree with the survival of the technology fittest and that those who do not adapt loose out, theres something to be gained with life without technology. I am extremely glad I grew up as a 90s kid rather then generation Z. I am just saying that we had plenty of luxuries in terms of entertainment but we were also a much more hands on generation and its because even tho we had technology it was not in over abundance.

Not to dispute your entire view tho because as I said I think anyone who depends on others to do something should care to learn the basics. But theres something to be said for simplfying life with less technology too. Its almost annoying how many people are consumed with devices during human interaction so often now.

I do like progression and technology but I just dont think it should be a social standard as far as whether people or stuff is obsolete.
I'm a 90's kid and yes I agree that we did have the luxury of being balanced with a connected and disconnected life. I still find myself fascinated with more hands-on tech than the actual software side of things.

I know what you mean with the human interaction, and I don't particularly use my devices unless it's an emergency or it comes up as a topic when other people are in my company. That was the kind of table manners and respect I was taught at an early age. (Maybe upbringing or tradition has something to do with this? Probably another story... haha)

I guess we have the best of both worlds in regards to the see-saw of technology and human interaction. Thank you for your insight.

On the contrary, I think it's ridiculous to expect people that are over 70 years of age to be able to use the internet and smartphones with ease. These people grew up when typewriters were a big thing. I'm not sure what the age is, but I think there's a point where you just can't teach an old dog new tricks, as the saying goes. And technology today advances at such a rapid pace I think when we're 70 we'll be more out of place than them.
Age has nothing to do with the ability to learn. The brain is always learning. (Neuroplasticity)
Like I said in my first paragraph: if you think you're unable to do X then you eventually become the self-fulfilling prophecy.
I have a cousin coming up on 65 and he plays video games with his son and I. He's always hyped for new technology, phones, and what the future holds for mankind.

Age is but a number. Learning and the thirst for knowledge knows no bounds. Life itself is a constant stream of new knowledge whether you choose to learn from it or not.
 

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It only bothers me if I am forced to help them, they keep complaining about why it' so hard, Or I am forced to use it inefficiently because my school does not know how to use their own systems.
 

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Age has nothing to do with the ability to learn. The brain is always learning. (Neuroplasticity)
Like I said in my first paragraph: if you think you're unable to do X then you eventually become the self-fulfilling prophecy.
I have a cousin coming up on 65 and he plays video games with his son and I. He's always hyped for new technology, phones, and what the future holds for mankind.

Age is but a number. Learning and the thirst for knowledge knows no bounds. Life itself is a constant stream of new knowledge whether you choose to learn from it or not.
 
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I'm willing to learn but technology stuff just is really difficult for me :unsure:
 
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Why do you care so much? If they want to be idiots and refuse to learn something just let them be idiots and miss out on technological advancement. What relevance does it have to you and your ability to live your life anyway?
It only bothers me if I am forced to help them, they keep complaining about why it' so hard, Or I am forced to use it inefficiently because my school does not know how to use their own systems.
Couldn't agree with @Murdock more here. Why care? Because it drags down the rest of society. It would be fine for someone to "miss out on technological advancement" if it meant these poor obstinately ignorant people lived in a bubble somewhere else where no one has to deal with them. Instead, as it is they become a drain on everyone else.

"Oh, but if everyone knew how to actually use a PC then IT support techs would be out of work!"

Maybe some of them, but technology is always going to have its failings unfortunately and so even if we eliminated all the user error scenarios, we would still need techs when something legitimately went wrong. And if nothing ever did go wrong and we had no jobs for break/fix techs, is that a problem?

Ultimately it comes down to the broken window fallacy. If a kid breaking a window is good for our economy because it creates jobs for the glass manufacturer, then we should go around intentionally breaking every window in town, right? Of course, the reality is that would be stupid because then the glass maker is spending all of his time replacing windows and has no time making windows for *new* buildings and everyone suffers.

Likewise, it's not a good thing for everyone to be an insufferable moron that has to call the help desk every day just to give the desktop tech something to do. That same tech could instead be doing other things more beneficial for himself and the rest of society.

On the flip side, I think some older person that refuses to use 21st century technology altogether (doesn't have a cell phone, does their research at the local library, etc.) is perfectly fine if they remain resourceful and keep to their own quirky way of doing things. In this regard, my beef is often more collectively with Baby Boomers and younger generations than the folks from the Great Depression, generally speaking. Gen Z kids may have "grown up with technology" but that doesn't mean they ever necessarily managed to learn how any of it really works. Accordingly, it looks like there's more and more youth who know how to use Google on their cell phone but the first sign of something not working and it's "I'll just have to buy a new one" or call someone to fix it for them. When these kids get to be middle-aged executives they will continue to be the bane of many an IT department and possibly more so as they also are more prone to have an entitlement mentality and expect everything to "just work."
 

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Accordingly, it looks like there's more and more youth who know how to use Google on their cell phone but the first sign of something not working and it's "I'll just have to buy a new one" or call someone to fix it for them.
I see this all of the time. It really bothers me, being someone that solders new connectors on headphones and repairs anything that breaks.
 

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Couldn't agree with @Murdock more here. Why care? Because it drags down the rest of society. It would be fine for someone to "miss out on technological advancement" if it meant these poor obstinately ignorant people lived in a bubble somewhere else where no one has to deal with them. Instead, as it is they become a drain on everyone else.

"Oh, but if everyone knew how to actually use a PC then IT support techs would be out of work!"

Maybe some of them, but technology is always going to have its failings unfortunately and so even if we eliminated all the user error scenarios, we would still need techs when something legitimately went wrong. And if nothing ever did go wrong and we had no jobs for break/fix techs, is that a problem?

Ultimately it comes down to the broken window fallacy. If a kid breaking a window is good for our economy because it creates jobs for the glass manufacturer, then we should go around intentionally breaking every window in town, right? Of course, the reality is that would be stupid because then the glass maker is spending all of his time replacing windows and has no time making windows for *new* buildings and everyone suffers.

Likewise, it's not a good thing for everyone to be an insufferable moron that has to call the help desk every day just to give the desktop tech something to do. That same tech could instead be doing other things more beneficial for himself and the rest of society.

On the flip side, I think some older person that refuses to use 21st century technology altogether (doesn't have a cell phone, does their research at the local library, etc.) is perfectly fine if they remain resourceful and keep to their own quirky way of doing things. In this regard, my beef is often more collectively with Baby Boomers and younger generations than the folks from the Great Depression, generally speaking. Gen Z kids may have "grown up with technology" but that doesn't mean they ever necessarily managed to learn how any of it really works. Accordingly, it looks like there's more and more youth who know how to use Google on their cell phone but the first sign of something not working and it's "I'll just have to buy a new one" or call someone to fix it for them. When these kids get to be middle-aged executives they will continue to be the bane of many an IT department and possibly more so as they also are more prone to have an entitlement mentality and expect everything to "just work."
But what authority do you have to even decide what should be learned and what shouldn't?

None of us have the right to go around changing others and judging them for what they do and do not know. If they want to ignore facts and not go with technology, leave them behind. It's not worth the trouble to force them to do something they clearly don't want to do. Better to spend those resources on actual intelligent people.
 

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But what authority do you have to even decide what should be learned and what shouldn't?

None of us have the right to go around changing others and judging them for what they do and do not know. If they want to ignore facts and not go with technology, leave them behind. It's not worth the trouble to force them to do something they clearly don't want to do. Better to spend those resources on actual intelligent people.
I think the benchmark should come down to the nature of your job. If you are some kind of administrative worker that literally works on a desktop PC all day, you should know some basic things like how to navigate a file system, how to manage icons on your desktop, etc. When I worked as a tech most EUs knew this kind of stuff and weren't an issue, regardless of their age. However, there was 1 or 2 outliers that really caused everyone a lot of headaches and you seriously had to wonder how they kept their jobs.

Of course, that's kind of the issue right now. The bar is *really* low for computer literacy in a lot of organizations today. Part of the problem is that people have learned by rote, rather than by note. Even a lot of the passably competent people could use a re-education on how they approach technology. I feel bad for some older people that keep reams of notes on step-by-step instructions that they could all toss out entirely if they simply understood the underlying concepts. Something like "make sure you save a backup copy to such and such network drive" instead becomes some kind of 12-step process outlying stuff like "click File" and then click "Save As..." etc. Now, maybe the younger generations won't have that issue as much, but then as I mentioned earlier they have their own set of challenges.

So the question comes down to: How can you better spend your organizational resources on "actual intelligent people" when the majority of your candidate pool comes down to techno-idiots? I understand not wanting to learn something outside of your realm of expertise, but when doing your job effectively without dragging down the organization requires you to learn something and you refuse you've moved beyond intellectual laziness into the territory of being a real asshat. I'm definitely more of a software guy myself, but years back when I really needed a job I ended up getting hired on to Comcast as a cable guy. Totally not up my alley, but I managed to do the job for a year and a half and put some real effort into learning to work with hand tools and trying to engage with my environment to work efficiently (a pretty real challenge for an INTP I'd say). If I just threw my hands up and said "I shouldn't have to learn this!" I would have been fired a *lot* quicker than I was, and as it stands I completely understand why I was let go when I was.

The problem is you can't simply fire the vast majority of your workforce, and so organizations are stuck today employing people that end up supplementing their job with calls to IT. Part of that can be addressed technologically (i.e. using stuff like centrally managed dumb terminals), but that can only ever go so far.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
But what authority do you have to even decide what should be learned and what shouldn't?

None of us have the right to go around changing others and judging them for what they do and do not know. If they want to ignore facts and not go with technology, leave them behind. It's not worth the trouble to force them to do something they clearly don't want to do. Better to spend those resources on actual intelligent people.
I was going to say the same. But the thing is, these people come to us for help and aren't willing to learn or understand. I feel like my help is gone to waste.

Food for thought:
What happens when the older generation dies off and everyone who currently has access to technology are still actively choosing to live in the stone ages? (Monks, artisans, etc don't count)

How could changes be made to help these individuals better understand and find patterns in the core concepts of technology, engage in common practices, and helping them integrate better into society?

Should government resources be used to extensively help these people because they choose to be a drag on society? Because that's how I feel the direction of government subsidies are aiming towards nowadays. Of course, educational facilities are starting to include technology into their curricula. Due to the current methods of teaching, there will always be a set group of outliers who aren't going to perform well in school and they'll grow up just the same.

I'm sure when we're all around 60's we'll have a lot more new technologies out there. Technology does tend to be more intuitive to some and completely abstract to others. How can we change that in the UX department? Is it even possible?
 

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I was going to say the same. But the thing is, these people come to us for help and aren't willing to learn or understand. I feel like my help is gone to waste.

Food for thought:
What happens when the older generation dies off and everyone who currently has access to technology are still actively choosing to live in the stone ages? (Monks, artisans, etc don't count)

How could changes be made to help these individuals better understand and find patterns in the core concepts of technology, engage in common practices, and helping them integrate better into society?

Should government resources be used to extensively help these people because they choose to be a drag on society? Because that's how I feel the direction of government subsidies are aiming towards nowadays. Of course, educational facilities are starting to include technology into their curricula. Due to the current methods of teaching, there will always be a set group of outliers who aren't going to perform well in school and they'll grow up just the same.

I'm sure when we're all around 60's we'll have a lot more new technologies out there. Technology does tend to be more intuitive to some and completely abstract to others. How can we change that in the UX department? Is it even possible?
As the older generation dies off and technology advances, we're going to have less and less issues with people complaining about anything being too hard to use. Since Apple has been around, PCs have been more or less marketed as appliances when in reality they're complex tools. Most people want appliances, not tools. This is starting to be rectified with the new set of electronics we're seeing today.

Instead of installing games on a PC, people choose to go with a game console. Instead of browsing the web on a desktop system, they use their phone or tablet instead. Instead of setting up VoIP through Skype or something they get a physical device like the "magicJack" or rent an EMTA from their cable company.

Of course, to some extent I definitely understand this. I could have slapped a few cheap network cards into an old recycled desktop tower and made my own router out of it, but instead I figured it was less hassle to just purchase a Netgear (although I did subsequently swap out the firmware with Tomato). I could have figured out some convoluted way to hook up an old PC to my mom's TV for Netflix, but I got her a Roku instead. For that matter, I've never had a custom hacked washer or dryer setup either. Appliances can be useful in a number of situations.

So it looks like the trend is basically towards walled gardens and dumb terminals with Android and iOS devices for the former and things like ChromeBooks for the latter. Because most people never really wanted to use a full desktop PC anyways, and I think that's perfectly fine.

On the flip side kids that grew up never struggling with an old Kaypro or Commodore, never have seen a CLI in their life let alone used it, and generally are just used to electronics handing everything to them on a platter (some might say an extension of the Millenial mindset in general)... it makes me concerned for the future. Sure, one could argue that the STEM crisis is largely invented and is just a ploy by companies to get cheap labor from overseas... but what if it's not? At least, not completely. I can see more and more people becoming ever more dependent upon new technology, while simultaneously understanding less and less about it. And that's a recipe for disaster.

When older people talk about how "you kids" all "grew up with computers" and express shock and amazement how a kindergartener can use a cell phone... I have to shake my head and sigh. Growing accustomed to certain UI conventions when it's the only set of conventions you've ever really known doesn't say as much as some might think. It doesn't mean that little kid is going to grow up to be a "whiz" with technology. It's just as likely--if not more so--that they grow up to be a low income CSR at a call center somewhere. They might spend their days chattering away on social networks via their phone and spend their nights watching some kind of media streaming service... but at the end of the day they won't have any more understanding of any of it than their parents or grandparents--maybe less.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
...we're going to have less and less issues with people complaining about anything being too hard to use... Most people want appliances, not tools. This is starting to be rectified with the new set of electronics we're seeing today...

So it looks like the trend is basically towards walled gardens and dumb terminals with Android and iOS devices for the former and things like ChromeBooks for the latter. Because most people never really wanted to use a full desktop PC anyways, and I think that's perfectly fine.

On the flip side kids that grew up never struggling with an old Kaypro or Commodore, never have seen a CLI in their life let alone used it, and generally are just used to electronics handing everything to them on a platter (some might say an extension of the Millenial mindset in general)... it makes me concerned for the future. Sure, one could argue that the STEM crisis is largely invented and is just a ploy by companies to get cheap labor from overseas... but what if it's not? At least, not completely. I can see more and more people becoming ever more dependent upon new technology, while simultaneously understanding less and less about it. And that's a recipe for disaster.

When older people talk about how "you kids" all "grew up with computers" and express shock and amazement how a kindergartener can use a cell phone... I have to shake my head and sigh. Growing accustomed to certain UI conventions when it's the only set of conventions you've ever really known doesn't say as much as some might think. It doesn't mean that little kid is going to grow up to be a "whiz" with technology. It's just as likely--if not more so--that they grow up to be a low income CSR at a call center somewhere. They might spend their days chattering away on social networks via their phone and spend their nights watching some kind of media streaming service... but at the end of the day they won't have any more understanding of any of it than their parents or grandparents--maybe less.
First of all, those are some very interesting and insightful answers! I really appreciate it.

Your main point being the newer generation will be less inclined to learn the origins and the work being put into making the technology and just rely heavily on what's freely available to them, correct?
If that's the case then I completely agree. With the direction we're headed, we may just become like the masses of sheep we view our parents as (glued to the TV). People are innately lazy and are reluctant to do hard work. (Assembly lines, mass production, dirty labor). I think this has some correlation with how we view technology as well. The ones that actually do put in the initial effort to learn and understand are greeted with a whole new aspect on the technology they're into.

There will always be the small minority of us who are more inclined to learn about the inner workings to make sense of it all. Tinkerers, hackers, crackers, etc. I believe that government subsidies/education should also include this side of technology to promote jobs and potentially increase the work force.
 
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