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A Short Film about Watching Technologically Illiterate People Use the Internet


(Video Link)


"The Scrollwheel" is a short film about the frustration that one experiences while watching someone who doesn't understand computers try to surf the Internet. You know, like people who type a URL into a search bar. Just keep in mind that long ago, you didn't know anything about the Internet, either.

This cartoon was made by Neon Noodle, Guy Collins, and Kevin MacLeod.

via Urlesque

It is very strange watching my parents at work on technology. It really makes me notice the intuition I have towards it.

My dad's work just gave him a droid. By god, every little thing. I spent half an hour trying to talk him through turning on the alarm clock feature. I have never even used a droid, but I know enough about how modern phones are laid out that I could still tell him how to do it over the phone.
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Typing the URL into a search box... one of my pet peeves. They left out double-clicking on hyperlinks. Also, minimizing each window one at a time to get to the desktop. I'm sure I'll think of more in a minute...
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superheroboy.... Holy crap my husband does that and it drives me CRAZY!!!!
Every single address he has to type in www. UUUUUUUGH
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This reminds me of one of the funniest experiences I have ever had. I asked one such technologically illiterate, elderly friend to move the mouse cursor up. He picked up the mouse in air.
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This movie reminds me of listening to a former co-worker complain about having to teach document verifiers basic computer skills when the most important trait needed to do that job was something that couldn't be taught: attentiveness to detail. I always liked it when they interrupted her with questions because it was like they were bugging her for me. I enjoy the frustration of experienced people with inexperienced people, especially when they think that the perceived ineptitude of others entitles them to be insulting, condescending, or otherwise disrespectful.
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I don't have the patience to watch ANYONE use my computer. I have the compulsion to say, "here, let me do that for you." Or else I have to leave the room. I'm sure I do some "old people stuff" that would drive a geek crazy, but at least I can do it quickly.
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Years ago a former Dutch Prime Minister tried to use a computer. He picked up the mouse and pointed it to the screen, like a remote control! The people in Holland were amazed. It was very funny and sad at the same time.
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You people are a riot. I wonder(?) if you could do a safety check on a tractor trailer rig? Or how about canning the produce that you bought? How about growing the produce? Could you fix, rewire or add and electrical circuit to your house? When is the last time that you changed the spark plugs/oil and put knew brake pads on the car? Do you know how to start a pay loader?
Could you dig a trench with 1/2 inch fall per four feet? How about fixing a hole in the roof.

You live in a fantasy. Sure computers are fun and you can do some amazing things with one. But after the next big em shock wave knocks out a large percentage of the satellites and an earthquake/flood/war takes down the electrical grid, you are going to be looking for those same 'morons' to help you survive. come down off that high horse and lose that look of disdain - some of those people might help you survive the coming tough times.
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And besides, the video was really not about watching a technologically illiterate use the computer, it was about the teacher standing over them with an air of superiority and no emotional control - forgetting how difficult it was to learn to ride a bicycle or whatever new skill that seemed so frustratingly complex at the time. Did your teacher act so disrespectful?
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I've got a Birmingham lathe in my basement, I can do all those things thom mentions plus machine new parts if things break. I still try to improve my use of the computer, instead of relying on a argmageddon to render those skills useless.
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I think the key here is having the skills to do your job. I work in an environment of predominantly women in their 50's and I really believe if they want to stay employed they need to show a little initiative on their own. It's like a bunch of car makers or steel makers not wanting to learn the newer technology. Or your ditch digger wanting to use a shovel because he doesn't want to learn to drive a back hoe. Or staring at your analog TV wondering where the signal went 2 years after the digital conversion... Be informed, be relevant, be useful...
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*sigh* You guys can knock off "URLs in the search bar" as a sign of techie ignorance.

Without a smidgen of pride or braggadocio, I can say that I'm likely the most knowledgeable person here, and sometimes I use Google to search for a URL because I can't remember if it's .com, .org, or .net, can't remember how it's spelled (Google corrects you if you're a letter or two off), or just flat-out don't want to be bothered later deleting this one URL (with shift-del while mousing over it) from the drop-down box under my address bar later.
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I kept thinking to myself, can't the "poker face" person think of a way to just say something? It is possible to help people without coming across as arrogant.
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@Splint Chesthair: Armageddon is so final. But when gas is seven dollars a gallon we still have to get out of bed and keep moving. I didn't mean that at all. By all means hone the skills, keep getting better. My point being is that the video shows the lack of skill in the teacher as much as the lack of skill in the learner. Granted I know how difficult it is to teach a complete knew way of thinking to someone. It's like making your kids eat the vegetables, you know why they should and somehow you have to be able to transmit that knowledge to someone who will not understand the need for nutrition until they're old enough to start feeling old.
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@Greystone 2000: I agree absolutely. I am one of those oldsters and watched on the sidelines for thirty years while computers went from card punching behemoths and dedicated word processors to what we have today because I didn't want to spend that much time inside to learn them. But in 2005 I bought first of seven computers and basically taught myself and believe it the first year was bloody - but then I got it. Now I'm teaching someone my own age who comes kicking and screaming to it. She dose not want to learn but she wants the benefits of it. It's tough to get someone not analytical to think in terms that a computer will understand. They many times see it as a magic box (that will break if you touch it wrong) and it scares them. Or they're just lazy.
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thom;
You are so right about the "magic box that will break if you touch it wrong". I run into people with that attitude all the time. I even was one of those people, until I sat down and just started messing with the computer. Once you realize it won't be detrimental to experiment with it, the whole world just opens up in front of you.

Also gotta agree about your first point. I see a lot of snobbish attitude towards people who aren't a total whiz with computers. I can use a computer, but I'm not the best at it, but I excell in areas where some of my friends are totally inept (like mechanics, plumbing, carpentry, etc). I never make fun of them when they ask me to help them with their car, but if someone admits to making a mistake with their computer, they act like you may as well sign up for the special olympics.
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Thom...spot on, my friend. computer techies are so, well....smug about themselves and tend to have that air of superiority that you mention. to the fella with the Birmingham lathe in the basement....wow, you have three phase power run into your residential home? I have a small LeBlonde toolroom lathe out in the shop, had to purchase a VFD to run it without resorting to the usual trickery to run three phase equipment on single phase power....ever hear of the "rope start motor" trick?
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@PenguinPete: Fun fact, the word 'humility' can be googled.

@thom: Why do you assume that anyone who can use a computer is also unable to do anything else? People can walk and chew gum at the same time. Besides the day an EMP takes out the world's computer, I'm pretty sure the fact that you took care of your house's electrical system yourself won't really matter.

I have to deal with tech-illiterates all the time and seeing them do in 15 minutes something that could be done in 2 simply kills me. The worst: people who use the search bar as a list of favorites. It's a search bar, guys. If you want a list of favorites, why don't you use the favorites?!
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People need to fucking zen out. Is it really THAT horribly aggravating to watch a person fumble around on a computer?

Take a yoga class or something.
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legitimate use of typing in a URL in the google search field: checking out suspicious URLs, or verifying a URL you're familiar with but haven't really bothered to memorize by rote (was that a .com or a .org? hmmm)
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