I've been helping my friend who is a senior citizen with her computer and she keeps frustratedly being like "Wait, how did you know that?!" and I keep saying "I don't know shit. I kept clicking til something changed." I don't want to "teach her computer". I want to teach her that the computer people don't know shit other. Just keep clicking stuff until you get the desired response...just avoid the buttons that say "erase" or "delete".

@kavbojka it's so hard to teach that intuition but that's where soooo much happens!

My friend is super fearless. She just needs to work her magic on computers instead of waiting for them to work on her

@kavbojka that's such an important skill to learn, and I've often wondered what the most effective way to cultivate it would be. "I don't know this shit, noone knows this shit, there's no single manual to go to *but* between googling and trial and error I'm pretty confident we'll manage"

Zen Mind, Computer Mind
Zen and The Art of Sending A Simple Email

@kavbojka totally, I like to think I can figure out any microwave oven by pressing buttons until it does the right thing. Computers are the same, just more buttons to try.

I think more touchscreen everything would help. Those laptop mice are of the devil and I refuse to be held responsible for them

@kavbojka omfg I have tried to explain this to people so many times

I don't have special skills I just try things until something works

@kavbojka it really makes you appreciate all the hours you (I) spent as a kid clicking on every single option in Windows when the internet was out, just to see what they did and whether it would break the computer.

@rubah @kavbojka I used computers before internet, only had the windows provided games.

We made our own fun!

Same here. I used to have to pop that sucker open sometime even! It was like an old car. Ha!

Totally. I have the whole "10,000 hours" thing already.

@kavbojka totally! It's knowing just enough to be confident clicking things. This flow chart is so relevant here:

I sent this to her. Perfect! There is an XKCD for EVERYTHING!!

@kavbojka Sometimes they feel a bit braver after having been taught that there's almost always an "undo" or that the escape key gets them out of lots of options dialogues they accidentally opened and are confused by.

I've been telling people to do that since the 386 chipset was a big thing.

@kavbojka I only know how to computer because I wanted to blow up cat people in space in the '90s. I retired from Family Computer Person when everything got reliable and 99.9999% of problems are addressed on page 1 of a search engine.

The remaining fraction of a percent is mostly stuff I could never fix anyway. I call it The Reinstallspace.

@kavbojka When I was working in an IT support position, I would often use the same approach. People were asking stuff like "how can I say my notebook not to shut down when I close the screen?", I would then go over to their work place instead of looking for a solution and just sending them click instructions.

I would then click and search in their settings, just to show them that it's not a matter of knowing but of trying/finding out. :)

@kavbojka Yep, 100% this. I mean, absolutely and of course I just *know* a lot of stuff simply from having been *doing this* for 19 years, but I still have tons of my own "click stuff at random"/"google/ddg stuff for a while" experiences! And when someone asks me for help, it's likely because Something Weird has happened so I'm back to googling!

Obligatory xkcd, naturally <3

@kavbojka @ohwell I have this exact same experience with my grandparents. They’re afraid they’ll break it.

@garrett @kavbojka I really hope this is a generational thing that will eventually fade off and not some kind of conservatism that grows with age

@garrett @kavbojka I used to be excited and personalise in depth every new Android release I got when I was 14-15, now I find them more and more obnoxious. Maybe I'm more afraid of modding because I might not have the time to fix what I break

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