ReadWriteWeb recently wrote an article about AOL & Facebook’s “Facebook Connect” feature titled “Facebook Wants To Be Your One True Login”. What was most remarkable wasn’t the content of the article; it was the fact that over 100 people left comments under the assumption that they had arrived at a new version of Facebook. While this was amusing to a lot of people, it highlights a big obstacle for people who may be “expected” to get involved with social media: Technophobes. People who have never really learned how to use their computers much less navigate the web. Are they left behind? I don’t really think so- the modern computer is user-friendly enough to help pretty much anyone get where they want/need to go.
I think the issue is with the teachers. I’ve taught VERY basic computer stuff before, and it’s easy to take for granted the things a lot of computer users know – like how to reboot, or how to close a program instead of just a window. Once these tasks are learned and the geography of the desktop has been understood, then it’s simple to engage in social media because you aren’t thinking about the technology anymore.
We always say it’s not about the technology with social media, and we truly believe that. I also know that there are people who think it IS about the technology only because computers are a mystery to them. Solving that mystery is the real key to overcoming their fear.