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Hard to circumvent Information Technology

By Jean-Claude Elias - May 24,2018 - Last updated at May 24,2018

Until circa the year 2000 it was possible for the non-technically minded to avoid the technology and lead a happy, stress-free life. They could do so by choosing to use products, equipment and devices that were still traditional, not heavily dependent on Information Technology (IT) or the web, by using computers sparingly and in the simplest possible manner, and by reverting to specialists whenever things got just too technical to their taste. Back then, there was still a choice, in most situations.

Avoiding IT today is impossible, unless you decide to escape and to live in total seclusion from a society. You would have to give up on smart TVs, on virtually any car manufactured after 2010 and of course on smartphones and tablets. You would then be deprived from doing anything with your bank, and even worse, you would face serious problems with the tax department, given that they now require every tax return to be filed digitally, online. The list goes on and on.

Whereas some of the tasks and devices are intuitive enough and are less demanding — and therefore less stressful — than others when it comes to being tech-minded, most will still ask for a certain amount of technical knowledge and some “appetite” for the high-tech world. Even washing machines can be web-controlled with an app on your smartphone — well, at least some of Samsung’s new models.

Think of a most basic task; checking flights arrivals at airport. Surely you are not going to try and call Royal Jordanian at Queen Alia International Airport to ask if a flight is on time, are you? Not in 2018!

Among the several ways to do that digitally today is flightradar24.com. Access the website via any Internet browser and see the planes flying in real-time on your screen, in any area in the world, with zooming possibility. Just select the flight you are looking for and see where it is in the sky, at any given moment. And if this is not enough you can filter the displayed information on a given airport and see the arrivals and departures display board of that airport as clearly as if you were there yourself. 

So how do you empower the population, from all walks of life and of all ages, to cope with IT and to build itself the least possible technical mind to use technology, now that it is absolutely everywhere?

Schools are doing their bit by providing some form of essential technology know-how to students. Whereas such effort deserves praise, it greatly varies from school to school, from country to country, and most have to face the daunting challenge of the constant change in IT.

One source not to neglect is the tutorials found on YouTube. It may take a little search, some trial and error, to find the video that is relevant and that is well designed and produced, but the result often is rewarding. These videos actually can turn a person who may first be reluctant to learn into someone who likes IT and who can gradually but certainly become technically-minded; which in the end is the name of game: not just to know, but to bring your mind to love technology.

And then there is this long-running “For dummies” books series that was launched in 1994 and that does wonders, if you can just go past the sarcasm of the word “dummy” and live with it. “Networking for Dummies”, “Firewalls for Dummies”, “iPhone for Dummies”, “Wireless Home Networking for Dummies”, etc. The books have transformed the lives of many who were just too scared to setup a home router, or to download the latest Google maps on a car’s GPS screen.

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