Tuesday 26 September 2017

Technophobia 4

It’s 2017 and 
Ian Hislop is still making jokes about Instagrams of food. Paul Merton doesn’t have a smartphone or use email. And I’m telling people how to link their tweets, and how to keep saving their work so that it doesn’t disappear when their laptop battery dies. People tweet that they have lost their laptop and it contains all their research for the past 18 months. (In the olden days we backed up on floppy disks, now it’s the Cloud.)

The NHS is still using the same system it installed in 2002, running on Windows XP (an outmoded OS). It got hit by a cyberattack. Amber Rudd says “I hope they backed up – they’re supposed to.” An NHS bod on BBC Breakfast says she’d visited the IT department and “It’s amazing how hard IT people work!” Sally Nugent added: “Some people didn’t know updates were available, or that backup was possible.”

If you use computers …you are going to turn into a computer. (Professor Susan Greenfield)

Went to the local Moorfields Eye Unit last week, which has finally stopped using paper files and turned on the PCs that were always on every desk. The consultant entered a few fields in a complex app, and out pops my copy of the review letter, addressed to my GP. He said it's all much better than when they dictated letters and sent them off to India for transcribing, then had to correct all the errors. (via cixonline.com)

Staggered to learn that on receipt of an email my online bank prints it in Leeds, deletes it, then posts the print to Coventry to be scanned. (@SELondoner)

Spoke to primary school IT guy today who had parents refuse tech in school as they feared radiation from wifi. Complaints came in by email. (‏@DonaldClark #redtech)

My Dad went to his grave believing that computers in banking were an aberration that would eventually go away. Then we'd go back to real banking [leather bound ledgers, cosy chats with the Bank Manager (him)]. (KJ)

People who still leave two spaces after a full stop agree – one day the world will be in sync with them again. It used to be thought rude to type a personal letter. That changed.

It's OK if you're older and hate millennials that's fine but next time you can't figure out how to print a Word doc DONT ASK ME CAROL (loni del rey‏ @LoniBryantt)

Some still view Twitter in the same way as they viewed “surfing the net”, 20 years go. I mean, what’s it FOR? What’s the POINT? And you might get addicted! Socmed holdouts now think Facebook and Twitter are only about plugging your product.

What on earth possesses people to leave online reviews for things? Baffling behaviour. (@thhamilton)

I have officially entered the 21st century. I apologize in advance for my slow learning curve. I have yet to discern Twitter's purpose. (And we never heard from Helena Bonham Carter again.)

Twitter is 11 years old today. Five years ago I was advised that people in prominent positions don't use it. How the world changes. (@JonathanFoyle, 2017)

Facebook corrodes the bond between men and women. (Via Conservative Woman ‏@TheConWom)

My old boss famously announced 'we don't do Twitter'. Now has an official Twitter feed. (‏via Twitter)

Now it’s “I don’t do threading”. (And you only need to retweet the first tweet of a thread.) Some still think that if you join Twitter, you instantly see everything posted by everyone who’s on it. (You only see posts from people you follow, and you can unfollow or block them.)

Facebook users like to tell you that Twitter is populated by rightists/leftists, baby pictures and morons. Twitter users say the same about FB. Twitter has an update – and users wail that it’s “turning into Facebook”. (The update consisted of non-linear timelines based on an “algorithm” that decides it knows what you want to see – but when Twitter installs the feature it gives you the option to turn it off. Everybody hated it, and turned it off.)

The whole Facebook 'friends' and instant chat thing is so stifling. (via Twitter)
The casual ‘clicking’ and ‘liking’ of social media... (Ellen Turner)

Fads like chasing followers online are leaving us lonely and isolated. (Pope Francis, with 13.6m followers.)

If you want to write about socmed in the right-wing broadsheets, you have to add a bit of denigration, and use the word “like” somewhere. But the real downside is that every time you “like” something, the info goes to advertisers. FB and Twitter want to show advertising companies that they can predict what their users want to read about. The companies will then buy advertising space.

To some, I suspect, FB and Twitter ARE the internet, and they’re just “on your phone”.

A Facebook user has a historical question: “Don’t use Google or the net etc, but where was the place called…?”

And a friend’s mother has a query: “I don’t do Goodreads, but…”

“I've never really experimented with any of the shortening services”, says another, apologising for long URLs.

"My Facebook feed is full of...." Click on the faint grey down arrow, top right of the post, and select from the options to hide or unfollow. And you can put your family or friends in a group, and choose to see posts from that group only. Some users moan what a terrible thief of time it is. Try hiding all clickbait memes, and not passing them on. They’re designed to find out about your networks.

“I don’t want a smartphone because I don’t want to have Facebook on my phone." Get a smartphone, don’t put Facebook on it.

“You get news alerts coming up on your phone all the time”, says the editor of new paper-only daily.
According to Rachel Johnson in the Times (2016), one of the new status symbols is a mobile that isn’t a smartphone – because you don’t want to be “connected” all the time.

“This is why I refuse to install the Facebook app!” I don’t have FB on my phone either, but I didn’t “refuse to install it”. I installed it and then deleted it (I prefer to scroll FB on my desktop). You don’t just decline to join FB – you “are determined to have nothing to do with it”. And you don’t just join it – you “give in and join it”, or even “submit”.

Some people who have Twitter and FB accounts, write blogs, and chat to people in comments, are convinced that they “don’t use Social Media”. Reading Twitter ("for news and updates") without Tweeting isn’t “using” it.

But there’s really no need to read the comments under newspaper articles. And you don’t have to join Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr…

A prominent lawyer was laughed at when he said in 1996 that one day lawyers would communicate with clients via email.

The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.
(Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, Post Office, 1876)

Btw, remember when a couple of years ago everyone was convinced that "e-mail is dead"? Well, no. (M. v. Aufschnaiter ‏@mva_1000)

Companies flogging alternative “solutions” are attacking email, Aug 2014: “Imagine telling your team they never have to email each other again!”

The email era is over, says Carol Midgley (Times 2016). “Companies are realising that while email saves time and paper it also turns employees into drooling screen slaves. Wading through 100 messages a day about Ron’s lost coffee mug or how to enlarge your penis kills productivity so some firms are weaning their workforces off it.” How are they going to organise meetings without email? Typed memos taken round the office? Pigeonholes? Are they going to go back to time-wasting phone conversations? Which aren’t recorded, so you have to take notes, and then type them up? Solution: Set up a spam filter. Tell your staff to go easy on the trivia and not to “reply all”. Hire someone to read the emails, pick out the important messages and answer them. You could call them a “secretary”.

Email has made secretaries of us all. (Expert quoted in The Guardian, 2014)

Email would be much easier and quicker if everybody could touchtype. It would improve productivity, and we might all get richer.

More here, and links to the rest.

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