I made a comment on a Facebook post (always an unwise choice), and I used a very common Internet acronym: fwiw. I also used the word troll. A woman, who I am sure is a nice person, responded and assumed I was a youngster and chided me for writing in such a way that she, an old lady (she’s younger than I am), can’t understand. I was exceedingly nice in my reply, and I explained to her about the exotic Internet-thingies. I told her she assumed wrong about my age. I silently wanted to scream.
There is this bigotry, a stereotyping, by people “younger than” that if you are Gen X or older then you can’t possibly know how to use the Internet, or social media, or your remote control. It was amusing to see the looks on younger people’s faces at work when this old coot could problem solve a computer issue that they could not. Less amusing is the doubting looks from job interviewers, that you (someone not 23) could actually know how to use MS Office, or could know how to use both a Mac and a PC.
Note to pipsqueaks: Knowing how to Instagram does not make you tech literate. And who the eff do you think invented computers as we know them and the Internet? (All together now: Al Gore!)
You can’t ignore the people who choose to uphold their end of the stereotype, though. The nice lady also said she spends most of her days on the Internet due to a physical condition that keeps her movement to a minimum. Ok, you old farts, assuming you are mentally competent, there’s no reason for you to be so incredibly illiterate about basic computer things. Learn to use Google. If you don’t know an acronym, look it the eff up! Don’t know what a troll is? Look it the eff up! There are easy, online tutorials for so many things, and they are free. There are easy to read books, like the Dummies series.
I’m not saying you have to become an expert in C++ (look it up), but jeez-o-pete. If you were to go to a foreign country for many months, perhaps Germany, I would like to think that you’d purchase a German phrase book, understand currency exchange rates, learn what the road signs mean, and other basic things so that you can function in a strange land. Then why not do that for the Land of Internet — where you spend quite a bit of time?
Old farts continue to give old farts a bad name, and the youngsters run with it. We’re memes (look it up).
PS: Why the rant in angle brackets? It is a riff on HTML (LMGTFY).