Computer Generation Gap

a new generation of computer usersWe have a serious generation gap going on in the world right now. Like most people my age, I grew up with computers and, like most people their age, my parents did not. Here are some simple ways to tell on which side of the generation gap you reside and, as always, feel free to add your own in the comments.

  • Enter. Ever watch someone from the pre-computer era browse the web? They type in the box, take their right hand off the keyboard, find the mouse, move the cursor to the “ok” “enter” “go” or “search” button, and click with purpose as if they are disarming a nuclear warhead. In a study that I have conducted over the past two years using completely non-scientific methods, I have discovered that the average person over the age of 40 wastes 7.4 hours a week moving their mouse when simply hitting “enter” will suffice.
  • Keyboard shortcuts. Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+P, Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+U, Ctrl+I, Ctrl+B, Ctrl+A, Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, Alt+Tab, Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End, Ctrl+Alt+Del. That is the list of keyboard shortcuts I use all the time. You may have a different list, but if you grew up with a computer, you know a lot of keyboard shortcuts. Don’t even get me started on using the Tab and arrow keys.
  • Double click. My parents used to double click everything and, therefore, opened two of every program. Fortunately, I think they have worked through this issue.
  • Right click. Take this advice from me- If you are helping someone older than you with a computer problem, don’t ever tell them to “right click.” For the rest of their life, every time you tell them to click something they will ask you “right or left?”
  • www. People who grew up with computers know you don’t have to type “www” before the name of the website. It is possible that I accidentally included this wasted time in the Enter key calculations.
  • FAQ. It’s an acronym for “Frequently Asked Questions” not a creative way to spell “facts.”

The scary part is that I am sitting here wondering what the next generation is already doing that I am completely oblivious to. I’m probably obsolete.


About Jeff Postlewaite

high school principal since '07, father since '04, teacher since '03, husband since '03, sound tech since '96, UVA fan since '92, gadget junkie since '89, Christian since '88, Giants fan since '84, golfer since '83, brother since '83, human since '81

Posted on July 8, 2011, in Society in General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Arnie Bulaski

    I drives me bonkers that people assume that MSN in the only “home” page that exists and rather than typing a web address in the address bar they type it in the search bar. Not only do you have to type the address you then have to click on the site once the search finishes. Goes back to that whole “not knowing the ENTER button exists” thing?

  2. I’ve typed the address in the search bar by accident and it always frustrates me that I wasted an extra click.

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