Verdict: Intended for those intimidated by the internet and hope it is a passing fad, Hale’s book is mercifully free of intimidating techno-jargon, and achieves its goal of easing resistant Gen X’rs into eventual mastery of the internet.
Back in the 1990s, Saturday Night Live aired a skit about desperate people who sought help with their computers from a techno-nerd. The takeaway joke from the skit was how frazzled and frustrated users endured the expert’s rudeness as he bellowed for them to “move” out of the way by abjectly obeying the command.
Today, such abject behavior is obviously not needed by Millennials (they are often the rude techno-geek of SNL) who effortlessly wield their iPhones, iPads and what-not into whatever subject–and ye gods, person–they want to troll. Meanwhile those befuddled ones a generation older–I too am from the pre-internet ’80s, where the most taxing technical problem was how to pull your shredded tape out of the VCR—scratch their heads about instant messaging, burning discs, and the mysteries of social media.
Hale’s book is geared for the head-scratchers and those slightly beyond. She assumes a lack of technological sophistication in her readers without being condescending to the Atari generation. That she is aware of her 80s’ era audience is shown by her frequent references to the film Back To The Future. While providing sections on navigating what she calls “the naughty” side of the internet, she also tailors her book to parents by showing how to implement “parental controls.” And she succeeds in her goal of making the insecure comfortable and even masterful regarding the internet.
Without bringing too much of myself into the review, I was a good test case for this book and am testament to how well her book achieves its goal. After reading this accessible book, I am able to instant message, troll social media, and “catfish.”
All in all, this is a valuable guide to bringing my generation up to technological speed, and belongs in the empowerment genre of books usually designed to “free-readers- from-tyrannical-and –overpriced-car-mechanics-and-plumbers.”
~Ron Capshaw for IndieReader