Monday, October 15, 2012

Time's Up

I think we can declare that it has been long enough for some things to have become common parlance and therefore should be within the capabilities of every day people. It is interesting to watch as technology becomes more and more mainstream and more and more folks come in contact with it what catches and what doesn't catch.

I guess the single best example of this would be the VCR clock. When VCRs first came out all the clocks were fine and that was because it took a person of a certain amount of technical facility to buy a VCR. Then, over time, VCRs became more mainstream and all of a sudden in TV rooms all across the nation one could find VCR clocks blinking 12:00 over and over because now that mainstream folks were buying VCRs the skill gap between someone that would have the device and someone that knew how to use the device had gotten wider.

I guess it doesn't have to be a skill thing. It could be a stubborn thing. My dad's last car would beep at you if the driver and the passenger didn't have their seatbelts fastened. My dad would hear the beep and then declare "it'll stop eventually." I guess it would be a different discussion to decide where stubborn becomes stupid.

I don't really profess to be a technical outlier. I still have a landline. I haven't cut the cable cord yet. My iPhone isn't jailbroken. There's quite a bit of technology just outside of my reach, even though I might be able to see it. I've been planning to do a home media center for years now. Just can't quite reach.

But I think the time has come for just about everyone to be facile with email. Again, I'm not looking for any fancy kung fu. You don't have to have everything ported to gmail and have all kinds of extensions and filters and automation and whatever. That's more than what I would expect. But there are a few things I'm just about over hearing about.

I don't want to hear people can't open their email. We all have about 47 different ways to access email now. This no longer requires a CS degree.

I don't want to hear from anyone anymore IN ALL CAPS and not have them understand that all caps is shouting.


I've really, really had it with people that can't properly meter their use of "reply to all." It's a fairly simple concept, we've all had quite a long time to learn it. Get with the program.

Finally (and for sure that finally is only temporary) I think it is past the time for people to recognize when a link in their email has been corrupted by a carriage return. We should all know by now that when you click it and it says "404 - not found" that the very next thing to do is to see if the full url is in the address bar or if part of it is cut off. Links in email have been around for a while. We should understand how to use them by now.

So how do we make this happen?

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