29 Stories of Technology-Challenged Adults

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10. That sounds difficult

There’s no red flag here, no low-key mark by which a savvy observer can infer some deeper truth. Technically illiterate people have shining beacons of tech ignorance. Mostly they don’t know what anything is called, and so they don’t know what you’re talking about.

“Which browser were you using”


“And what did you type in the address bar?”

“The what? I just typed what you said to type.”


“What do you mean, where’?”

11. Neither did her computer, I’m sure

My ex girlfriend used to pull out her computer’s power plug while it’s on in order to turn it off, I’m a software engineering student so this drove me insane! When I asked her why she turns it off this way she told me she was convinced that this way was “better” without providing any further reasoning behind her logic. I tried explaining to her that what she was doing was bad for her computer and provided reasons to why it was bad, she wasn’t convinced at all and still believed her method was better. That relationship didn’t last long.

12. But it can’t be

Installs apps and browser extensions from unreliable sources.

“I can’t get a virus because…”

Never modified the configuration of a program.

Copies files by opening and saving them from a word processor (actually saw that many times).

13. Awkward silence

When you ask them to “Log Off” of their computer, and they Restart or Shut Down instead. Being in IT, this is infuriating. What I could have fixed in 5 minutes remotely while on the phone with you is now going to take (at least) an additional 5 minutes of us awkwardly sitting on the phone together waiting.

14. On the bright side, it must have smelled good

I work IT for the state and we oversee various different offices and agencies, one of those being the state cemetery. Each agency has their own smaller IT department, but we oversee and assist those departments. They were having issues connecting to the WiFi and we were tasked with helping them resolve the issue. After emailing back and forth to resolve the issue to no avail I went over to the location to assist in resetting the router. I asked their “IT” person to show me the router and he walked me over to an outlet and said “I know how to reset the router but it’s still not working”. He was attempting to reset an air freshener.

So I guess mistaking an air freshener for a router would be a red flag.

15. Underqualified

New Project Manager consultant raises hand during meeting about a development project. “Sooo… when you are talking about software packages, you aren’t talking about a real package, like a birthday present type package, right?

16. Benefit of the doubt

Them: “There’s nothing on my monitor.”

Me: “OK, is your computer on? There was a power outage last night.”

Them: “The monitor has a little orange light on it.”

Me: “Right, but is the computer on? We lost power for a long time last night.”

Them: “You mean I have to turn the computer on? How am I supposed to do that?”

Me: “The large box-shaped thing next to your desk has a power button on the front of it. Just press that.”

Them: “Oh… something’s happening. Ok, looks like it coming on. I didn’t know I had to turn the computer on. Thanks.”

Me: “No problem.

17. Black magic

They have no idea what on the computer they’re not good at, but if it appears on a screen it’s baffling to them and they’ve never bothered to actually learn how to do it. Even if the process is identical to something to do in the real world every single day, for some reason adding a mouse and a keyboard to it makes it black magic.

Every single time we visit my mother-in-law we have to help her with a new task related to the computer, whether it’s getting pictures from the phone onto there or checking her email or setting up an iTunes account. These are all things she’s done several times, and there are even multiple sets of written instructions from all of her kids on how to do it because we all have to show her every time we visit, but none of it ever seems to stick. I really don’t understand it.

18. Horrifying

My mom is illiterate with technology, or used to be. I had to rename internet explorer (couldn’t grasp the concept of chrome or firefox at the time) to CLICK HERE TWICE FOR INTERNET.

However, three years ago I bought her a kindle fire and she’s been a lot more interested in technology. To our horror, her coworkers at the hospital use her for tech support at night.

19. Anti-failure

I feel like one of the biggest issues with computer illiterate people is that they are afraid that computers are so fragile that if they make a wrong click that they will immediately get a virus or destroy the screen. Many “tech problems” arise from simply refusing to use common sense to search for the answer and experiment with looking for something.