Friday, May 21, 2010

It's Easy to Forget

I was reminded recently to not assume that 20-somethings are automatically tech-savvy. We tend to group younger folks (especially those still in their 2nd decade, plus or minus a few years) into the "knows everything about technology" category. It's easy to do, since we all know of someone who has had help with something (computer, cell phone, fill in your own item) from a teenage relative or neighbor. And, they must be learning this stuff in schools, too, right?

Recently a young woman approached the Computer Services desk late one afternoon. Late teens, early 20's - I really don't know. She was extremely frustrated, because she'd spend most of her hour on a teen computer composing a document and needed to email it as an attachment to her instructor (so I'm thinking she wasn't college since that session is over, but perhaps she's attending a summer school course?). She complained that none of the library computers would send an attachment, and she'd just wasted her time trying to get this homework submitted. I explained that all the computers could do that, but people do need to be in their own email program - often someone will try to respond to a CraigsList add, which opens Outlook on the computers but won't actually do anything. We've been able to help people through that, too.

Someone else had already signed in to the computer she'd used, so I couldn't get back to her document. I asked if she could get it done on an Express computer, and she went to work. I checked on her when I thought her time might be getting short, and found she'd saved the document to the desktop, opened her email and addressed the message. This is where she ran into trouble. I showed her how to find the document to attach it, and could almost see the light bulb go off over her head. I left her to write her message, and when I passed by a little later she smiled and said "It worked!"

Another lesson in technology; one more person who will be able to pass the knowledge along to friends! That's what makes this job so fun.

No comments: