After working like a mad woman to get the Library’s Joomla site launched, it was time for a bit of R&R for yours truly, so I took off to Las Vegas for a long weekend.
The reason for the trip was the annual Mr. Olympia Expo and competition at the Las Vegas Convention Center and my son asked us to go along with him. I must admit, being a “well-rounded” person, I was a bit embarrassed to be seen in a sea of bronzed, muscular young people, but how could I refuse! Once I got there, I tried my best to act like I actually knew something about the nutritional “supplements” that the young beauties were handing to me as freebies, but I was pretty clueless. My attention was drawn instead to the technology employed by the various nutrition companies to garner prospective buyers. Rather than have potential customers fill out paper forms, I saw dozens of iPads and other mobile devices in use for gathering email addresses. In order to obtain a free tee-shirt, nutritional sample or supplement shaker, each person first had to input information including name and email. Thankfully, I have three or four different addreses, so I used the one I created just for marketing spam. At one booth, I felt rather insulted when a barely 20-ish woman asked me if I knew how to use an iPad. When I replied that indeed I did, she looked at me and said “Well, good for you!” Was it because I’m over 60 that I got that response? Who knows, but I then explained to her that I owned not one but two different iPads and used them regularly.
At another vendor station I whipped out my iPhone and used my QR scanner to “like” the company on Facebook and thus claim my shaker bottle. A young woman nearby watched me intently and then proceeded to use her phone to take a photo of the QR code. I quietly explained to her that it really wasn’t going to work unless she had a scanner app loaded on her device. It took the salesman working at the booth to back me up before she looked convinced that I knew what I was talking about.
Both of these incidents made me feel both sad and a bit angry at the same time. Just because I’m a woman of a certain age, am I assumed to be computer illiterate? Stepping back, I then examined my own attitude in arranging our Library’s computer training classes for patrons. I schedule our computer basics classes during the daytime for the convenience of seniors who don’t like to drive at night and then run the Excel classes in the evening for the younger, working patrons. Perhaps I’m guilty of the same attitudes that I dislike in others! Along with gaining a small amount of knowledge regarding bodybuilding this past weekend, I came back home with a new eye to scheduling our computer literacy classes at the Library. Now it’s back to work…