Author Topic: Parents who are Computer Illiterate  (Read 11942 times)

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eee

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2013, 01:51:06 PM »

This. Honestly, I would have stopped answering her calls by now. She sounds utterly obnoxious, and I'm at a loss as to what maintaining the relationship adds to your/DH's life.


well, unless she's an absolute monster in all areas of life, she's the man's mother and probably has some redeeming qualities when not struggling with hotmail.

lowspark

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2013, 01:53:22 PM »
I'm with all the PPs who say to quit helping her. Really, compters are not rocket science (or medical science for that matter!).

Facts you've told us:
1. she apparently doesn't even want to try to do what it takes to fix things
2. she's only using the computer for emailing friends and googling recipes
3. you're spending an hour at a clip trying to help

Regardless of anything else, these three items are way way more than enough reasons to just say no.
Next time she calls, tell her that her particular issues are beyond your area of knowledge and that her best bet will be to pay someone to have a look. I don't see why it should be your responsibility to help her if she won't even meet you 1/8 of the way much less half!

at5115

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2013, 01:54:31 PM »
How does she manage to function as a doctor with this level of contempt for computers?

As I work with many physicians, I can tell you that unless they love technology, they're not in a computer headspace.  As one pediatric pulmonologist told me recently, "Put me in a room with a child and I'm brilliant.  But I cannot wrap my head around this computer."  So your MIL's response to you is totally typical of the experiences I've had (but only of my sample - I can't speak for everyone).

It's a handicap, but I don't think it's a reflection of her clinical prowess.

Brilliant idea for the LogMeIn and other computer sharing software! My Mom pretty much only calls me to fix/help her with things on her computer/Facebook - and she definitely doesn't have the terminology down at all.  I like helping her because she sends me cookies (I'm in another state). 

Sophie Jenkins

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2013, 02:09:11 PM »
How does she manage to function as a doctor with this level of contempt for computers?
As I work with many physicians, I can tell you that unless they love technology, they're not in a computer headspace.  As one pediatric pulmonologist told me recently, "Put me in a room with a child and I'm brilliant.  But I cannot wrap my head around this computer."  So your MIL's response to you is totally typical of the experiences I've had (but only of my sample - I can't speak for everyone).

It's a handicap, but I don't think it's a reflection of her clinical prowess.

I know a lot of doctors (a lot! My husband is one and we socialize with his coworkers) and that has not been my experience at all. Almost none of them are computer people, but they all have laptops, smartphones, and the capability to use them for work and personal reasons.

It's a very severe handicap, in my experience. Computerized charts are widespread now. If a doctor can't find the address bar in a browser, how can they access their patient's records? Or look at the results sent from pathology? Or look at the CTs of the lungs?

Shea

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2013, 02:32:24 PM »
Working in a library, I've found it's incredibly hard to help people with computers, even in person, if they lack even a basic knowledge (how to use a mouse, how to open email, etc.) There's an elderly professor emeritus who comes into my library often (I work at a university) and he just can't grasp basic computer use. Every time he comes in he needs help using a mouse and signing on to the workstation, so he definitely can't find the articles he wants. I always end up walking him through it. He really does try, he takes careful notes on what I do and tries to do it himself. Sometimes he can, but then he gets stuck on small things and needs help. This professor is obviously a very smart man, he's considered a major expert in his field, but dang if he doesn't need my help every time to open the Internet.


If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, librarians are a global threat.

Aeris

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2013, 02:39:42 PM »
This. Honestly, I would have stopped answering her calls by now. She sounds utterly obnoxious, and I'm at a loss as to what maintaining the relationship adds to your/DH's life.

Wait...what? Are you implying the OP and her DH should give his mother the cut direct because she's a bit annoying/obtuse about computers?

 :o

Cami

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #51 on: March 08, 2013, 02:49:32 PM »
This. Honestly, I would have stopped answering her calls by now. She sounds utterly obnoxious, and I'm at a loss as to what maintaining the relationship adds to your/DH's life.

Wait...what? Are you implying the OP and her DH should give his mother the cut direct because she's a bit annoying/obtuse about computers?

 :o
Okay, I was a bit flummoxed by what I was reading too -- couldn't believe anyone would suggest cutting their mother out of their life due to one annoying habit. We all annoy our loved ones from time to time. None of us is innoculated against irritating others. If we cut everyone who annoyed us out of our lives, well, we wouldn't have much of a life any more.

acicularis

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #52 on: March 08, 2013, 03:17:49 PM »
Think about why the "... for Dummies" books became so popular. There are so many people who have a mental block about being able to cope with computers.

True, but there's a big difference between reading a "for Dummies" book to try to figure out something and passively sitting there saying "Mmm" and not even trying because you've decided you can't.

Not everyone is computer literate --or good with cars, or plumbing, or fixing things, etc. Nothing wrong with that. But if you can't or choose not to figure some stuff out, you can't assume that someone is going to spend an hour on the phone with you "helping" you while you refuse to do a darned thing!

Lynn2000

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #53 on: March 08, 2013, 03:21:38 PM »
This. Honestly, I would have stopped answering her calls by now. She sounds utterly obnoxious, and I'm at a loss as to what maintaining the relationship adds to your/DH's life.

Wait...what? Are you implying the OP and her DH should give his mother the cut direct because she's a bit annoying/obtuse about computers?

 :o

Not wyliefool, but this same thought passed through my mind as well after I read the OP's post with more description of the mother's personality--the impression I got was of someone cold and uninterested in the people around her, even her own son, who never calls except to get "help" with her computer, and who has left her son with a lot of issues to work through due to her behavior when he was a child. Obviously I don't know the woman and that is just my interpretation of the OP's description. Plus, add in that she seems so unwilling to take the OP's computer advice, despite calling and demanding it. Only the OP can decide if the relationship is worth the hassle, of course.
~Lynn2000

camlan

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2013, 03:38:04 PM »
How does she manage to function as a doctor with this level of contempt for computers?

I sympathize, and wish I knew a solution for you...

My SIL is a doctor. She's in her late 40s, just old enough to have gone through college and med school without having to learn how to use a computer. They were around, but easy enough to avoid at that point.

At work, up until two years ago, she simply dictated her notes on each patient and someone else transcribed them.

Two years ago, her office finally forced her into typing her own patient record notes and doing everything else on the computer. Even gave her a laptop all her own.

She is genuinely afraid of computers and afraid that she'll hit the wrong button and erase everything in the machine. She survives because her husband, my brother, is very technologically inclined (he's the IT guy at the school where he works) and so are her kids. You hear them yelling from another room, "No, Mom, hit F5. F5, Mom!" "Mom, it's the icon on the desktop. You need to hit the bar on the lower right-hand corner of the bar at the bottom of the screen. Then you'll see the icon." And heaven help them all every time the office upgrades either the software or her laptop.

She's bright and intelligent and simply has this huge blind spot when it comes to computers.

When I worked in a library, I saw this all the time. In people well under 30. Some people simply don't "click" with computers and they struggle to learn how to use them well. They learn one way to do something and they stick with it. There could be much easier shortcuts, but they won't learn them because they want to stay with the one thing they know that works.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Sophie Jenkins

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2013, 03:59:04 PM »
How does she manage to function as a doctor with this level of contempt for computers?

I sympathize, and wish I knew a solution for you...

My SIL is a doctor. She's in her late 40s, just old enough to have gone through college and med school without having to learn how to use a computer. They were around, but easy enough to avoid at that point.

At work, up until two years ago, she simply dictated her notes on each patient and someone else transcribed them.

Two years ago, her office finally forced her into typing her own patient record notes and doing everything else on the computer. Even gave her a laptop all her own.

She is genuinely afraid of computers and afraid that she'll hit the wrong button and erase everything in the machine. She survives because her husband, my brother, is very technologically inclined (he's the IT guy at the school where he works) and so are her kids. You hear them yelling from another room, "No, Mom, hit F5. F5, Mom!" "Mom, it's the icon on the desktop. You need to hit the bar on the lower right-hand corner of the bar at the bottom of the screen. Then you'll see the icon." And heaven help them all every time the office upgrades either the software or her laptop.

She's bright and intelligent and simply has this huge blind spot when it comes to computers.

When I worked in a library, I saw this all the time. In people well under 30. Some people simply don't "click" with computers and they struggle to learn how to use them well. They learn one way to do something and they stick with it. There could be much easier shortcuts, but they won't learn them because they want to stay with the one thing they know that works.

I don't doubt that there are very intelligent people who struggle with computers.

What concerns me is the level at which the OP's MIL is struggling and how very integral computers are to medical work.

TootsNYC

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #56 on: March 08, 2013, 04:02:53 PM »
This. Honestly, I would have stopped answering her calls by now. She sounds utterly obnoxious, and I'm at a loss as to what maintaining the relationship adds to your/DH's life.

Wait...what? Are you implying the OP and her DH should give his mother the cut direct because she's a bit annoying/obtuse about computers?

 :o

Not wyliefool, but this same thought passed through my mind as well after I read the OP's post with more description of the mother's personality--the impression I got was of someone cold and uninterested in the people around her, even her own son, who never calls except to get "help" with her computer, and who has left her son with a lot of issues to work through due to her behavior when he was a child. Obviously I don't know the woman and that is just my interpretation of the OP's description. Plus, add in that she seems so unwilling to take the OP's computer advice, despite calling and demanding it. Only the OP can decide if the relationship is worth the hassle, of course.

Maybe a better question is not "why is the relationship worth the trouble?" but "why is *trying so hard* worth the trouble?"

Maybe the OP just needs to stop waiting and waiting and trying and trying to help. It's OK to bow out of this one area.


Cat-Fu

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #57 on: March 08, 2013, 04:03:24 PM »
TBH I find that worrisome too, but my healthcare provider network is entirely computer-based. I think if I encountered a doctor struggling with one of the computers, I wouldn't go back to that doctor.

OP, have you suggested taking a computer class to your MIL? I realize she hates being social, but they can be really helpful.
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Lynn2000

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #58 on: March 08, 2013, 04:05:53 PM »
Maybe a better question is not "why is the relationship worth the trouble?" but "why is *trying so hard* worth the trouble?"

Maybe the OP just needs to stop waiting and waiting and trying and trying to help. It's OK to bow out of this one area.

My thoughts exactly. There are lots of good, hopefully useful suggestions for new approaches the OP can take; but, it's also perfectly polite to just not engage on this topic any longer, if that's preferred.
~Lynn2000

nuit93

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Re: Parents who are Computer Illiterate
« Reply #59 on: March 08, 2013, 04:18:27 PM »
Stop helping.  Suggest she find a local teenager to help her, perhaps she will find more incentive to learn if it costs her money.  Tell your husband you are done and after you speak with her for the last time to tell her you will no longer be available and to hire someone tell him it's his turn to deal with the entire situation.  Then if she asks for help in the future suggest she call someone locally who can come over.

There is absolutely no excuse for the MIL's choice of determined, obstinate stupidity.  None.

I agree with this.  Why should you work for free?