I’m a Digital Immigrant

One of the most exciting developments in my life is the world coming to me through my computer at the click of a button. Being a news and information glutton from the time I began reading, seeking out information was a quest I never tired of. Then came modern technology.

I remember the first time I saw a PC. It was in Hong Kong in 1981. The first PCs were being sold, and at a price that made my eyes pop out of my head. Then a few years later a company called Apple made this little box that seemed to take technology in an exciting new direction. Then someone came up with the idea of a portable PC, called a laptop.

Bored yet? Snickering? Glancing at you smart phone to see how long I’ve been taking to get to the point?

You just made my point for me. I haven’t owned a wristwatch in years. Clocks are all over the place, even on phones. People can send a message with their phones. They can take pictures with their phones. I often wonder ‘when does a person ever use a phone as a phone?’  I can read news on a tablet, watch movies on a laptop.  A member of my writing group reads my submissions on her smart phone.

But I tear my hair out when I try to follow instructions on how to utilize a site to its fullest advantage. These words being used is clearly meant for people who speak a language I still do not understand. Web sites that share information say copy this, install that — my eyes glaze over and I must fight the urge to call someone under the age of 25 to help me wade through all this.

My sister told me I’m a digital immigrant, which means I am not a digital native, born after digital technology was prevalent and using digital technology from birth. I came along long before that, and like a person trying to understand, fit in, accept and thrive in this new country, it’s damn hard. Well, fine. I knew I was something, and if I’m a digital immigrant, so be it.

What I would like is for the people who create all these wonderful sites for sharing, posting, enlightening and entertaining, to have, for those of  us born before the turn of THIS century, this digital age, a special tab with instructions, using the simplest words possible, on how to utilize that site to improve our lives.

Is that too much to ask?

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