Not everyone is on the Internet but maybe they don’t give a tweet.

April 28, 2009

Darn, nobody’s friending me!

Once in a while I encounter someone who does not own or operate a computer. My grandfather for instance. He just turned 96. He proudly points out the computer room in his retirement home but, as far as I know, he’s never been. Jack Postaer came into the world before television, air-conditioning and jet planes. Way before. During his childhood, horse driven carriages still occupied the brick-paved streets. Chicago was Hog Butcher to the World. Gramps is completely unaware of blogs, let alone mine (which is probably to his benefit!)

During service work, I’ve met others who go through life without computers. Usually it’s because they cannot afford the machines or ISPs. They might own a cell phone and a TV and that’s about it. If they work it is in a job that does not require computers or the skills to run them. A few are in telemarketing, which I assume utilizes computers. However, I have been told these machines are heavily blocked from anything but mission critical applications. In other words no Facebook or streaming videos on ESPN.

These are the ones I worry and wonder about. Clearly, they are being left behind. As I watch my small children grasp evermore-difficult tasks on our family’s computer, I can’t imagine anyone remaining ignorant, much less oblivious. Hell, I’m stunned anyone still uses dial up!

I’m not sure if we (the tech literate) have an obligation to those without the means or inclination to get wired. Is this a brutal example of the fit surviving and the weak declining? Perhaps when phones become fully loaded and dirt cheap, it will allow everyone computing power in their hands.

As for Gramps, he got to see his beloved White Sox win a World Series, which we all believe extended his life.


4 Responses to “Not everyone is on the Internet but maybe they don’t give a tweet.”

  1. Thanks for the useful information. Will be reading more of your IT related blog posts!

  2. I work on a computer all day and often a good portion of each night. Every so often, as the gods of technology decide to screw with me, I think I should just chuck it all and go become a lumberjack or fisherman or some such profession.

    It then occurs to me that even these jobs are probably full of computers, gadgets and other new and cutting-edge technologies. So, I decide I must become Amish.

    Of course, I then think about how I dislike buckles and straw hats…

    Wait a second, as I have been typing this, I haven’t even checked my Facebook page one time. I gotta go. Nevermind.

  3. Have you visited your local public library recently? They’re doing the public service of getting the unwired masses plugged in. Free web access, free wifi, and web/computer literacy courses. All of them well used and well attended in my ‘hood.

    I bet most of the people you referenced (well, maybe not gramps) have used the internet already without even knowing it – on their phones.

    Like in Asia, mobile phones will narrow the digital divide in the USA.

  4. golublog said

    I think some people (i.e. aging grandparents) are best kept off on the internet,too many things that will warp the mind and sadden the heart. As for those of us who grew up with, it’s far too late for the like of us.

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