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Computers and Adulthood


My mother and I have this on-going argument. She's been retired for a while now, so she's had plenty of time to learn how to use a computer. But she just hasn't. And she doesn't seem to have any plans of ever doing so. This means that she's always asking her children to help her with anything she has to do with a computer. She can't even do a google search on the internet. I've repeatedly explained to her that she needs to know how to use a computer, and she's repeatedly made excuses for not being willing to learn.

Lately, I've just come right out and told my mother that in order to be an adult in our society at this time, you must know how to use a computer. Computer knowledge is something that adults just have--like a telephone, a place to live, a bank account, taxes and yearly tax filings, a car, and a driver's license. Without these things it is very difficult to function as an adult in our society. I realize that some adults are without one or two of these things from time to time, but that is a temporary condition. It's not a life decision--unless you consider prison or long-term homelessness a life decision. Like many other areas of knowledge that adults have, the better you are with computers, the easier your life will be.

Here are the basic computer skills (and two items) that every adult should have:

That's not a long list. If you don't have some or all these basic computer skills, chances are that a friend or relative has handed you this list on a piece of paper. My advice to you is, if you don't have all of these basic computer skills, acquire them as soon as possible. Here is the secret to acquiring computer skills: there isn't one. You just have to sit down in front of it and start trying to use it. The longer you work at it, the more skillful you will become. Expect to be frustrated. We've all been there. But even if it takes weeks, or longer, don't give up until you have acquired the computer skills you want.

For those of you who have the above basic computer skills, here's a list of additional computer skills (and one item) that will make your life as an adult even easier and better:

If you don't have all of the above computer skills, the internet is the place to learn. If you don't have a computer in your home, here's how to get one for well under $100. Some of the above computer skills are different for different operating systems, so you can't get more than a general knowledge of them without having your own computer on which to learn the particulars. If I haven't made it clear, learning how to use a computer is not an academic exercise, it's a hands-on experience. Good luck, and don't give up.

Related Articles:

The High Cost of Technological Illiteracy in Our Society

Alchemy, the Hundredth Anniversary of the Proton, and the Singularity Point

Is Technoaddiction Real?

My Computer and Me--a Romantic Comedy, or a Tragedy?


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