9.01.2010

A tiny little request

Hello out there, computer-savvy people.

If you're going to take it upon yourselves to hook up Mom/Grandma/Grandpa up with an email account and a Facebook account and every other thing under the sun that you think they should be using, could you do me a big favor?

Could you please:

1) Make sure they have the computer skills to actually navigate said programs. Walk them through things several times right after they sign up so that they don't try to log in on their own 6 months later because they know there are baby pictures waiting for them in the computer but they don't remember a thing about what you told them to do.

2) Not sign them up with a Yahoo mail account because, hi, gross.

If you ignore #1 and #2, then you should be prepared to move into their home with them. This way, when they run into difficulties and start looking around with the Bambi eyes, wanting someone to magically be able to fix it all for them and tell them why they can't get their messages and what is their username and why is Facebook is asking for a mobile phone number when they don't even have a mobile phone, they will be looking at YOU. They will not be in the library looking at me.

I may not have a satisfactory answer for them (sorry, I really don't know what your Yahoo ID is), and like I want to spend any more time dealing with stupid Facebook than I absolutely have to. My response to people, when I'm feeling brutally honest, usually goes something like this.

"You're having problems because Yahoo sucks bricks. Get Gmail instead. You're welcome."

"I'd just quit Facebook if I were you. You don't know how to use it and you're just going to get your email hacked and your identity stolen. Especially since your email is through Yahoo, which, see above."

Thank you for your kind attention in this matter.

8 comments:

Kimberly said... [reply]

Got this one from an elderly gentleman at the ref desk recently: "This email from hotmail says my account will be disabled if I don't give my username, password, DOB, and SSN! What do I do?"

Ann-Marie said... [reply]

Amen

Nemesis said... [reply]

Kimberly, I'm wondering if the lady I was trying to help today was actually receiving some sort of spam/phishing message. I've never heard of Facebook asking people to verify a mobile phone number. Has anyone else?

Beth said... [reply]

no they don't send emails out. Unless you have requested notifications.

Breanne said... [reply]

Oh my gosh you're singing my song. Except at our library it's usually someone at United Way or somewhere has set them up with all sorts of job-searching sites, and they can't remember how to log in to any of them or how to attach their resume to the application, and the people at their job-finding agency told them they can just go to the library to use the computer! But they didn't mention that we don't provide a person to sit down and walk you through the entire application.

Sadly, I got stuck for an hour once helping a poor woman file for divorce because she COMPLETELY did not understand how to use the computer. After that my co-worker very delicately told me what to do in that situation in the future. I will consider using your brutal honesty sometime!

Nemesis said... [reply]

Breanne, YES. Absolutely yes. And it's awful because people really do need help, and what they're trying to do is important (like, say, applying for unemployment). But we just don't have the staff/time to walk them through it, and then they're miserable and completely frustrated.

Mrs. Clark said... [reply]

Wow. Thanks for the insight. I am so sorry. And all those senior citizens and nutcases think you owe it to them to help because their tax dollars are paying you. (To be LIBRARIANS, than you very much, not computer tutors!)

Nemesis said... [reply]

Thanks, Mrs. Clark. I'd actually be fine to be a computer tutor if we had a good system set up for doing it. Lots of libraries offer computer classes but mine unfortunately is not one of them. I mostly just feel bad for the people who wind up here needing help we can't give.

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