Monday, March 19, 2012

Digitized Dividing = 1 ÷ 0

I'm pretty sure the stats would be higher if I wasn't such a tech-fiend.
The Digital Divide will always exist but there is also another side to the coin.  Besides those who are not fiscally able to gain access to the internet and new technology, there are those who are more than capable to purchase the latest tech toys but who remain tech-illiterate despite walking around with these devices in their possession.

You would hope that over time these individuals would end up learning how to use most of those features they spent all those hard-earned dollars on, but that does not always happen.  You know what is just as sad, people are proclaiming that there's an "App Gap," that's just pathetic.  "Oh, noez, little Timmy isn't able to play Angry Birds!  Now he's going to fail at life!"  Please, kids these days are so spoiled, the last thing they need is another Digital Distraction.

Last week, I had a patron who came up to the desk and ask, "Do you know how I can look at Twitter on my Kindle?"  Sounds like an easy enough problem: "There's an app for that."  So she fires up her Fire (like the wordplay, eh? eh??)  and we download the Twitter app.  I ask her if she has an account and she says, "I think I do."  So she proceeds to slowly enter in her username and password.  After several failures, I mention that she can always reset password.  Before she did, I made sure to ask if she has access/remembers her email credentials.  She says, "I think so," this is where I know that this supposed 5 minute interaction is going to end up being a little bit longer.  We reset her Twitter password and considering that it took awhile for her to maneuver on her Fire, it might be easier if she used on of the public internet stations.  Once we bring up Gmail she ends up pulling out her Blackberry and goes through her contact information to find her email account password.  You know how they say that the majority of people have their most-sensitive account passwords written down at there desk somewhere, well, she answered 'Yes' to that question during the survey.  Her email account was not linked to her Blackberry, in fact, none of her emails are linked to her phone, she just keeps all of her account information on it as contacts.

Not surprisingly, she has the wrong password listed on her phone so she gets frustrated and asks me, "Can't I go to Staples and they'll do all this for me?"  I'm a pretty patient person so it was more out of her own frustration.  I told her that we could make a new email and Twitter account and she agrees that this is the best solution.  So I go back to the Info Desk and let her do her thing.  She calls me back saying that she finished creating a new email account and needed help making a Twitter one.  So I go back and help her create a new Twitter account, even made up a password for her because she was so irritated at the thought of having to "create yet another password which [she] will forget."  Okay, account created, but wait there's more!---stupid confirmation process.  I let her know that she needs to go back to her email account and confirm her info.  Yeah, she forgot the password to her new email account which she had just created not 5 minutes before. 

Finally gets her usernames and passwords correct and we finally get her logged in to Twitter on her Fire.  Turns out her daughter is a pretty big and important public official or whatever, and she has a bunch of trolls and haters arguing with her on Twitter.  So after 45 minutes helping this patron, here comes mom to the Twitter fight rescue!


  1. This sounds so much like my dad. Every time he buys something from Amazon or Ticketmaster he has to either change his password or create a new account (with much yelling and cursing) because he can never remember his login info. He also has an iPhone with (maybe) two non-Apple apps....

  2. Haha, reminds me of when my parents switched over to their cable provider for high speed internet, my dad continued to pay for dial-up AOL thinking that if he stopped paying his email address would get deleted. I took a whole lot of convincing that YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR EMAIL!