Monday, August 2, 2010

On the Desk: Gee I don't want e-mail!

Many people who come to the library to use our computers do not have any experience using computers. The don't like computers. They don't want to use them. They sure don't want to have an email address.

In our online world, you may need one to buy cars, airline tickets, do much of your banking, make mortgage payments and other utility payments (at the last minute!), get coupons for bottled water, casinos, clothing. It is the only way the immigration office schedules appointments. Many many agencies and businesses are forcing people to go online.

Those agencies are not there to help the forlorn new computer user, but we are. People with no computing skills are trying to do complex things and you just have to walk them through as best as you can. Many times people want you to sit down at the computer and fill out forms, create accounts and we cannot. We are ever and always short staffed, and we have to respect the privacy of the individual and we can't know their personal information. It can be a real struggle.

The long and the short of it is, if you want to do anything online that requires an e-mail address, you need to create and use an e-mail address. They are free, they are easy to set up and use. Anyone can have one whether they have a computer or not.

Instructions for setting up a Gmail account forthcoming!

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