I was sitting in Union Square with a couple of good friends…it was sunny and cool, just the way I like it, and our intent had been to get some writing done, so we pulled out our laptops and powered on. As you probably guessed, it was pretty hard to see our screens and as I was trying to adjust mine (the desktop was pure black, so it made things even trickier) a woman, seated on the step next to me said:
“You have to plug it in.”
I looked at her and she looked back, earnestly, maybe even helpfully, so I quickly explained that there was a battery in the unit, so I could run it on battery power.
I’d peg this woman in her early fifties, and no, she didn’t look homeless or crazy. I just think she’s one of those people who don’t use computers regularly, if at all. They exist my friends, but they’re getting more and more rare and anachronistic. Virtually anyone living and working in the SF Bay Area today needs computer skills, needs to be up to date on certain aspects, needs to know. That said, I met a friend’s roommate a few weeks back. A chef, just starting out his career. He is in his early twenties, who, despite growing up as part of the Internet generation, has very little use for computers.
People who are secure in their fields, or in the October of their careers can get away with little to no computer knowledge, but anyone else... I don't know. In a couple years, I don't think the world will be able to accommodate them anymore. Anymore, you need a computer to even find a job... (and no, I don't have one yet, but that's beside the point).