Thursday, March 03, 2005

I'm proud of my mom

"White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" made me think a lot. Very interesting. I've never thought for example about the racial relevance of the color of bandages... however, I'm not here to talk of racial issues...

This article combined with "Psycosocial Barriers" sticked a question in my mind. There is some kind of hidden "racism" towards computer non-users? I mean... of course there is in work field, but I'm referring to social interaction. Is someone who doesn't know how to operate a computer really mocked by expert users? or are they considered ignorant by the rest of the e-society? Is the social pressure to learn how to use a computer that people prefear to say they are going to buy one? or declaring they don't want to use it instead of appear dumb users?
These are dumb questions, I know, the article gives back the answers... but I'm just amazed... until now I never really thought about all the difficulties and social pressure that a newbie could encounter in starting to use a computer, even if I recently saw my mom learning it. And I mock her all the time because it takes her five minutes to type a single sentence when she talks to me with instant messanging programs.
This week I'll tell her that I'm proud she learned.


  1. I used to tutor disadvantaged students at another college, and I tutored on computer use. It might take all semester, but the major hurdle was usually freeing them to Experiment! But once they had, oh what a joy to watch people use the internet to email relatives in Mexico or to download pictures for a school report. I never looked down on them. It was, to me, equivalent to learning to read, write, and do math.

  2. It's funny for me to think about this, since I started going online about 13 (!) years ago when "normal" people didn't do that sort of thing. It was considered pretty weird to spend that much time with the computer, or to talk to people through the computer. Most people had never been online at all. But now things have gone the other way, and people who don't go online are considered the weird ones.

    I was very active on a local BBS/chat board as a teenager, and I remember that we had a slang term for people who were not online. We called ourselves "Netters", "BBSers", or just "geeks", but people who didn't go online were "real people". This was said with irony, but we were well aware that to most of the world "real people" were people you met in person. They wouldn't have given any weight to friendships or interactions that took place online. It wasn't even a topic that most people thought about. With and Facebook and all, things are very different now!