Less technologically adept individuals tend to equate an ability to use social networking as sign of computer prowess. Howerver, texting and Facebook skills do not equate to an ability to reason and use a computer productively. Computer use has two major components, the motor skills necessary to use a keyboard, a mouse or a trackpad and the cognitive skills necessary to use the software programs. Using a computer instinctively, requires a monumental amount of practice with a fairly high degree of hand/eye coordination. But simply because you have the motor skills does not mean you can automatically run a computer.
personal experience with younger computer users is that many of them
have acquired the motor skills to operated the computer. They can use
the mouse to open, close and move files, but have no idea about
software. Learning to use moderately to extremely complicated computer
programs requires the skills behind the program. For example, someone
may be able to play computer games all day, but that does nothing to
qualify him to use a computer based accounting system, or do online
legal research or build a spreadsheet. A computer is a tool. If you give
a hammer to a two year old he or she can do quite a bit of damage but
are unlikely to build anything. I have used computers in my work since
the 1970s and I view them as a tool to an end.
the last time you saw a young person use a computer for something other
than entertainment or as a text entry device? To effectively use a
computer, you need to have a concept of work. Unfortunately, this
concept is sadly lacking in American society, especially by the youth.
The first level of computer usage is keyboarding. A Nielsen Study
found 13 to 17 years olds averaged 3,417 text messages a month.
Typically 86% of those who own mobile devices use them while watching
TV! See ReadWriteWeb. Looking at the U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 Statistical Abstract,
almost half of the high school students in the U.S. or 45.16 percent
still have no Internet use at all. Whereas only 6.17% of those people
with a bachelor's degree do not have Internet access.
the 2012 Statistical Abstract shows, 29.13% of the population of the
state of Arkansas have no Internet use at all. The state with the most
computer use is Utah with only 9.9% of the population with no Internet
use. Total computer use in all the states combined is fairly evenly
divided between those 18 to 34 or 30.48%, 35 to 54 37.77% and 55 and
Other than using social networking,
playing games, or email, when was the last time you actually did some
elective work on a computer? When was the last time anyone you know
under the age of 18 did some work other than that required by a school
class? How many different programs do you use regularly? How many do
your below 18 year olds use?