what is a basic computer skill you were shocked some people don't have?

  1. Had a situation happen with an older coworker when I worked at Pizza Hut who knew I was in college for CS. She walked up to me with gusto and says, "I need a wind proof WIFI router because the wind keeps blowing it away" then when I tried to explain to her that wind doesn't blow away WIFI. I shit you not this lady goes, "No wonder you can't get a job in computers" A couple hours later, she's outside on the phone cussing out the ISP because they told her the same thing I did. Turns it was orchestrated by her grandson telling her to ask for windproof routers. Like when your dad tells you to go into autozone to ask for blinker fluid.

  2. My mom kept noticing that my step dad would turn on CAPS LOCK to capitalize a sentence, but then forget to turn it off so his whole sentence would be in caps, and he would get frustrated and have to delete it and start over.... She showed him about the Shift button and how it'll capitalize that letter if you're holding it down.

  3. Yes, this can be extremely annoying. I sometimes have to help friends do something simple on pc just because most of them apparently can't even read. I just don't get it

  4. My mom is like this. First time she got a smart phone she had to ask me about every notification and 'translate' it for her even if it was something like lower battery warning. And on the computer she just clicks immediately on any window that pops up without reading it, then gets frustrated when something she wants to do isn't happening or that she's somehow downloaded a ton of malware and useless toolboxes.

  5. I was in the hospital, when my ca 45 year old roommate asked me to help him with his new phone. He got an older model that functioned like an old Nokia to make it easier to use for tech illiterate people.

  6. I'm in my 40's, I teach at a private elementary school. A teacher in her late 20's shared a google doc with me, and she had "centered" the title by hitting space bar a bunch of times.

  7. I once did a bit of tutoring for folk, and I remember one lady asked how she could open Word. So I told her to move the mouse pointer over the Word Icon and double click on it, to which she replied "Oh no, I can't do that. I don't like those mice thingies..."

  8. I once asked my stepmom to use the mouse to move the cursor on the screen. She picked up the mouse in her palm and asked how to do that.

  9. Sadly a lot of companies don’t seem to realise what scam emails look like so their own emails seem a bit fishy if they don’t have someone’s personal info.

  10. Follow up to this; not recognizing fake download and play buttons when watching on illegal streaming sites. Nowadays I can sniff out a fake button very easily.

  11. I’ve had people ask me how I know where all the cables go. They pretty much all fit in their own places! Maybe microphone/speaker plugs are the same but they’re usually colour coded or have a picture at least!

  12. I remember years ago before I was officially diagnosed with sleep apnea, I had a senior manager who I guess wanted to justify why she wanted me to set up her docking station (it was my job at the time anyways) say she just didn't know where the cables plugged in on it. The reason I bring up the sleep apnea is that day I was over exhausted from a shitty night of sleep. I ended up saying, "do you remember that game you played as a kid where you put the square peg in the square hole? It's like that." I'm shocked I never got reprimanded for that since I heard it made her really angry.

  13. I worked tech support for an ISP and we had a storefront where customers could bring devices in for config. Had a lady once bring a router in with no power supply. She was dumbfounded and almost irritated when I told her I couldn't work on it. She said "why does it need a power cord? It's wireless!"

  14. I had a colleague who complained about her computer being slow after lunch. Took a look, and it turns out she was using 'minimise' instead of 'close' after reading emails - had over 200 emails open!

  15. My former MIL knew that too well. She would go to a site, then once she was done, she would close the browser. Then clcik on the browser icon again, go to another site. Then close the browser again......

  16. 100% It's not like the olden days where your error messages were cryptic "Error 4072qiln" Then I understand why you would call me and say "What the F does that mean?" But if it says "error, printer out of paper" don't call me.

  17. Something that really surprised me is that some people don’t understand the connection between the mouse and the pointer on the screen.

  18. My college roommate didn't know he could change his desktop background. He was blown away and went to show it to one of our other friends, who was also blown away because she didn't know you could change the background.

  19. My uncle needed to use my computer once and he called me in to help him because he couldn’t figure out how to “make this Killers thing go away.” I had a desktop background of the music group The Killers.

  20. Our first computer had a 14.4k modem. I learned so much about the computer sitting there bored waiting for a website to load.

  21. Okay, so I worked as a Best Buy computer tech in the early 2000s right around the time they were buying out the Geek Squad. I tell this story realizing how utterly ridiculous it is, but I attest that it happened as I tell it. I'm at work and the phone at our workbench rings. A woman is on the line, clearly stressed.

  22. Not knowing how to enter a URL. I've tried to get people to enter a URL over the phone and they just put it in the Google search bar (usually after first going to google.com).

  23. I'm always surprised how many business owners go to their own website by typing it in Google then clicking the link. Bookmark that shit at least!

  24. Or the other way around. Getting angry when I say: probably the easiest to use Google. No they want the URL spelled out including all the slashes, underscores, question marks and will be really slow and will demand to repeat what I said multiple times.

  25. Just navigating Windows Explorer, and the organisation of files. The amount of people who just stick every single file on their desktop is crazy, and they're not arranged in any particular order. When they need to find a file they have to peer all around their desktop to find it.

  26. I know people who are studying to work in administrative jobs who dont even have the simple idea to sort their files in different folders. One of them is a single mother, she asked for my help once with her computer, everything is dumped either on the desktop or in the "documents" folder, wether it is bills, her kid's school reports, her latest homework, or selfies.

  27. My girlfriend always thought I was super smart and could solve every computer problem through sheer force of my brain. Then I was helping her with a computer issue and after exhausting the basic troubleshooting steps I had, I googled her issue with some specific keywords and got some help articles to work off. She was blown away "you just google it?" And I'm like yeah, there are no unique situations and someone smarter than me has solved this issue before.

  28. I've watched my (admittedly geriatric) professor at uni open internet explorer, click on the homepage icon to open bing, type "google" into bing, click on the first result to open Google, and then type the URL he wanted to go to

  29. The when I was 9 and used a search engine for the first time, I was very personable. “I am looking for images of Willie Mays, but if you don’t have those how about images of Barry Bonds”, (enter). Not kidding

  30. I caught a coworker flipping back and forth between tabs while retyping a paragraph. When I showed her how to copy and paste, her response was "I can't keep up with all this new technology."

  31. I worked at a university and there were so many college students that didn't know how to save their work. They come in, write out an entire paper in 2 hours, never saving, and then the computer glitches and they lose all their work.

  32. My teenager started her own business & looked at me like I was a full blown wizard because I was able to create a very basic website for her. Stack that on top of knowing how to do all the stuff she needs for school, like editing pdfs, and being able to type at a fairly decent speed & she thinks I'm some kind of computer god. It's mind blowing.

  33. If all you have grown up with are touch screens, it's really not that far of a stretch to meet younglings whom never used a computed before.

  34. Gen Z/Alpha are in a weird spot where they've mostly only experienced UX designs that were literally made so simple a toddler could figure them out because the UX designer wanted to make it easy for boomers. But the boomers still couldn't figure it out while saying "My grandkids are so good with the technology." And now Gen Z/Alpha are a bit technologically stunted...

  35. How to keep the desktop from having 100 program shortcuts on it. I’ve talked to people who don’t want their desktop to be that way but think it’s unavoidable.

  36. Been working in IT long enough to where people not having basic computer skills doesn't shock me anymore. But still, how do people never figure out that you can search for programs in the start menu?

  37. The amount of people that can't function if there isn't a shortcut on their desktop is astounding.

  38. Cargo cultism. They don’t understand the underlying concept that the thing they click is a shortcut which opens a program stored somewhere on their computer.

  39. My department manages the copiers for the whole office. We get the calls when a copier has an error but some people never seem to be able to find the actual error message in giant bold print on the screen. But they want to know how to fix it. How can I give you advice on how to resolve it if you can't tell me what the error is?!

  40. Or the ones who can't follow basic instructions. They'll go to the web page with the instructions, and they're written for five year olds, but somehow they still can't set their out of office message or whatever other basic thing they want.

  41. Slightly more complex, but similar scenario--I worked a job where one task was taking hundreds or thousands of images from various sources and uploading them to a network image server. There was a web-based GUI tool for this, but could only upload one file at a time. Some of my coworkers would spend days just on this task, which was nowhere near the most important stuff we had to do.

  42. One of the first hard lessons I learned in IT is that for a lot of people, any instruction that’s longer than a couple of sentences is too much. You get better at shortening and simplifying over time to try and accommodate these folks, but often times if a task really requires multiple steps I’ll just make a short video to share. Cuts down on the number of requests you’ll get AFTER writing out and sending the instructions in text form.

  43. when you're paid by the hour, doing things faster means you just get to do more work for the same hourly wage. If the boss says do them one by one, you do them one by one even if it takes you 8 hours to do 'em because otherwise your plate is about to get a lot more full.

  44. Not so much a skill but I was shocked when I would interview people in my previous company at the number of individuals who don’t have an email address or even know how to create one.

  45. Had a user call last week. "I got my laptop and there's a sticky note on it that says, 'Local login: 'username*' is that my network login?"

  46. I’ve been reading the comments and this one struck me. I’m never going to do IT support, not even as a temp job. If I do I would probably go mad and throw someone’s computer out of a window eventually.

  47. The longer you work in IT, the more you realize that people who say "I'm not good with computers" actually mean that they can't be bothered to use a search bar...or even just fucking read what's right in front of them.

  48. I get those calls from my father all the time. He’s been using computers since 1964! And PCs since the 80s!!

  49. It's called technophobia. People are so afraid to break something technological to the point that they litteraly cannot do a thing even as simple as this one.

  50. Unfortunately, some websites are now capturing hijacking this and forcing you to use their javascript-based find system. Which really screws up anybody who actually knows how to use the program's find teacher feature.

  51. When I was a teacher, we regularly had mini training courses that involved answering quizes after reading articles. Another teacher saw me ctrl + Fing through an article to find the answers and she and a group of other teachers came to my door later that day to ask me how I hacked the test and cheated.

  52. Work IT, you will never be shocked by anything. There are A LOT of people that don't know how to save/ open a file or I cannot tell you how many times I've had to teach someone how to browse to a website. Mostly old people that had a PC bought for them by their kids / grand kids and the kids set it up so they can open outlook to stay in contact with everyone and get photos. I had gotten a number of younger people too though which is very surprising. Talking to a 25 year old that doesn't even know how to turn their PC on. Thank fuck I don't work IT anymore

  53. So many it makes me sad and blows my mind every time. Not knowing you can copy, cut, and paste with keyboard shortcuts. Complete lack of understanding of folders and understanding the desktop is also a folder.

  54. While in a research class in college (about 3 years ago), my professor took the time to "teach" us how to use a keypad to facilitate data entry. Having taken a keyboarding class in high school, I thought it was unnecessary until people started asking questions and like actually learning. It was then that I realized how many people my age don't actually know how to use a keyboard. It was wild.

  55. I've always been a fast typer but it wasn't until I worked at a bank for a little bit that I realized being fast on a keypad is a whole different skill. Took some practice but keypads are fast af

  56. I'm 43 and grew up when computers were newer and we were all very well versed in how they work and so forth.

  57. I'm in college right now and there's a woman in one of my classes who didn't know how to highlight. She thought it was some magic feature as part of our online textbook, not just a thing you can do on any computer pretty much any time. She said it was because she didn't use social media, but I'm not really sure how that translated to not knowing how a basic computer function works.

  58. How to open task manager when everything is freezing and force quit programs. Ctr+alt+del was one of the first things my mom taught me on our home computer back in '95.

  59. If you work in IT or any tech customer service role, you’ll be shocked how how technically illiterate a large chunk of the population of ALL AGES really are. It’s baffling how resistant these people are to learning or understanding too.

  60. For a while I thought every person from the new generation would be 100 percent literate in computers, but ever since smartphones became a thing I'm seeing a lot of young people with the same issues my grandparents had.

  61. It is said that the ability to use a projector decreases with more degrees. 100% true, at least at my university.

  62. Probably an age thing. Younger folk seem more likely to fuck around with something to make it work, which is the key to learning how to operate tech.

  63. I had a customer, who instead of clicking on the giant link in their password reset email (“CLICK HERE TO RESET YOUR PASSWORD”), they did a ‘reply all’ to that email “spicegrl621”.

  64. How to use Excel. Went to a job interview and they asked me about Excel and how would I rate myself. I asked them to clarify, like basic spreadsheet functions, formulas or programming in excel. They looked at me in shock and said "You know a lot, you're an advanced user". 🤦‍♀️ I never answered the question and they moved onto the next question.

  65. I'm a programmer but not in excel. Everytime I try to do something in it I need to google. Give yourself some credit man

  66. Just normal mouse skills. Some people college age or slightly older than that working at offices and taking an eternity to move the mouse and click on something. This is not even related to the mouse speed or sensitivity.

  67. I used to teach basic computer skills and i knew I’d have to focus on turning on and off the computer but I did not realize how many people needed a few hours of mousercize. And how much they resent being told that.

  68. I hate when people search for their cursor, spend forever finding it, then move it once they see it. Just move the fucking cursor around and you’ll see it moving and know where it is.

  69. I’m always surprised by how bad most people are at using search terms that optimize their results, like when they Google things.

  70. Im currently in a “how to use computers” course because it is a required Pre-requisite for my degree, and the amount of people in it who don’t know how to use basic things like copy and paste, the search bar, settings, etc is mind boggling

  71. My former boss used to be fascinated by my "skill" at googling things or even searching a pdf. She could not understand just putting in one or two key words instead of an entire sentence.

  72. I don’t get how people can do something manually for so long. If any single thing takes me more than 5 minutes active time, I know there’s a better way even if it takes me twice as long to look it up/learn it. So much saved time in the long run

  73. As a librarian it's shocking to see the amount of people who just cannot navigate a computer at all. There were courses in my grad program that talked about "the digital divide" but I had no idea that computer illiteracy was such a rampant issue. Many people have no idea how to use a mouse.

  74. The almost automatic assumption by some people that every screen is a touch screen really gets me. I see it across age groups and levels of computer literacy too.

  75. My housemate didn't understand that the concept that the password for the computer can be a different one than the password for the house WiFi. They. Are. Not. The. Same. Thing.

  76. "Where is the start menu?" said by a student (medical secretary) in her final year. She also couldn't find Delete. Didn't know what the shift or tab buttons do. "How do I get to so-and-so?" "You click on the arrow next to the date." "Which arrow??" "The one right where your mouse is positioned." let's go of the mouse. "No, this is too much, you'll have to show me". She was one month away from her exam, about to be thrown into the hospital world. Spoke to her former supervisor, who said: "Yeah, she was catastrophic, we almost didn't approve her." REALLY? Had to tell the poor sod that she had no possible way of passing this and frankly, your previous supervisors made a huge error in letting you pass. You will crash and burn and possibly make a horrendous mistake if you start working with these nonexisting skills. I showed the school some examples of her work, and they agreed. Rather than repeat the course, she quit. A medical secretary's work consists of using computers every single day. If she was this catastrophic after almost two years of studying, there really was no hope for her. Not to mention how poor her basic grasp of the language was...

  77. Last week my wife was trying to copy all of our wedding photos from the flash drive we received them on to her computer. I was watching TV next her her when she sighed and said “this is gonna take forever”.

  78. As a 21 yo who grew up with computers and is now a graphic design student I learned 2 weeks ago that ctrl+A selected whole text blocks, this already changed my life.

  79. Especially when in a browser and they don't look at the url bar and see that it's auto-completed and they could just hit enter.

  80. Literally just understanding how a computer functions. Not grasping that a computer will do EXACTLY what you tell it to do (99.9% of the time at least!). The number of times I've heard "Why would it do that!?" when it's exactly what they told it to do. So many people expect computers to magically know the outcome they desire. Being able to encounter an issue or unexpected result and then logically work back to what you probably did wrong is a skill so few people have.

  81. Took my 18 month son about three tries to figure out how to open his kids movie app on the tablet by himself. He's by no means a genius, but the UI designers of Android definately are.

  82. That most commercial office printers have a document server function. You send the print job and the printer holds in in a queue. Go to the printer and select your print job. No problems with a colleague accidentally taking part of your print job. Half my lab didn't know about this.

  83. When people younger than me don’t understand the difference between saving to the cloud or the pc. I’m new to OneDrive, Sharepoint, etc, but it’s not that difficult. Often, they don’t even look at where a file will save then don’t understand where it is.

  84. A new colleague, who's in the support department, comes to the developers often for this. Downloads the report that needs to be updated from SharePoint, edits it, and saves and closes. When the report is not found in SharePoint, he wonders what happened, as he did save it.

  85. A friend of mine works for a camping site. She got a call the other day from someone telling her that they did not intend to book anything, they were just looking. They had been on the campsite‘s website and somehow thought that the mere act of looking at the page would somehow indicate their intention to book. Nice of them to clear that up though!

  86. I’m a software engineer and I don’t think I know the proper way. I just used a computer so fucking much that I eventually got faster at typing.

  87. Typing with index fingers. I had a tech class in 7th, maybe 8th grade and the whole course was to teach you how to type with both hands and not look at the keyboard.

  88. Just the ability to read something on the screen. You see it a lot at self checkouts at the supermarket. The machine could be asking them something in massive writing with two huge buttons to pick from like "Do you want to continue Yes/No" and they will be unable to comprehend it just because it's on a screen.

  89. Worked for a non-profit a few years back and they decided to bring on in-house counsel rather than pay a law firm out the wazoo whenever they had a legal question.

  90. Not “some people” in general, but I do have an anecdote about a guy I hired and very quickly fired a couple years ago for fluffing his computer skills on a resume. Which isn’t terrible, everyone does it, but this guy said he was managing hotels and working with several programs, and I found that to be complete bullshit when he didn’t know basic things like the difference between how to open or close windows vs tabs, couldn’t even peck-type, couldn’t tell you when he was looking at the settings for the computer if they were, in fact, the settings for the computer, and sure as shit didn’t know how to copy/paste, print, etc. He was in his 50’s and claimed to be “too old” to know how to do any of these things.

  91. The biggest annoyance for me, is if something changes and an email gets sent out with instructions on how to set it up etc, is the wave of people that "I don't understand computers so I won't even try." and they all start asking for help, because they're not willing to learn.

  92. Typing on a physical keyboard. My sister is a teacher and a lot of her kids struggle since they grew up typing with thumbs on their phone.

  93. When my step-sister started working for the local council, she said that the people who already worked there thought she was a computer genius because she knew ctrl-c and ctrl-v.

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