Illiteracy increases every year. At a time when the workforce requires higher levels of literacy to understand the meaning of words in computer manuals, and when technology in the kitchen or home requires the ability to read - a prelude to using microwave ovens and VCRs, we have up to 2/3 of the population unable to write and read adequately to function and find fulfillment in this complex world.
The Dell Computer Corporation conducted a nation wide survey (July 1993) about our general reluctance to use electronic equipment and why so few people actually use the programmable features of VCRs, thermostats, etc.
The survey spanned ten years, tracking 1000 adults and 500 teens across the country.
Technophobia was defined as “fear of using VCRs, answering machines, computer keyboards, modems, faxes, digital alarm clocks, microwave ovens, and cellular phones. Results:
- One fourth of all US adults have not programmed favorite stations on a car radio or VCR.
- One fourth still mourn the demise of mechanical typewriters.
- One fourth cannot set a digital clock.
But, to a non-reading person, even a street sign is useless.
Many VCRs and Microwave ovens blink 12:00 all the time? But for those who can read, there’s a manual somewhere that explains how to stop the blinking – assuming we can read.
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