Monday, 16 July 2012



WOMEN AND TECHNOLOGY

RABBIT STEW

It seems to me that the only time we see confident women with technology is usually linked (get it?) with the sore subject (hee hee) of porn. “I run my own webcam site… Blah, blah, blah…” Or toys to enhance the female pleasure…”I love my rabbit…”

Over the years I have become a personal Tech-Guy  to my many female friends (of all ages) and I wonder why many of them don’t feel confident around tech. From the computer, printer to smartphones many women struggle to get the most out of them… It’s an odd phenomenon considering the beautiful and intelligent female presenters who show us the latest in consumer technology!

On the Gadget show we have or had the amazing Suzi Perry! Oh, I met Suzi Perry once; she was showing students how to present at a video production course I attended. She’s such a genuine lovely woman!

Then there’s LJ Rich who has been on QVC demonstrating various software and hardware. LJ Rich now does work on BBC’s Click! Fascinating woman of many talents!

If you look to the States there are so many female presenters who are beautiful geeks! You have Jessica Dolcourt and Molly Wood who do video reviews on the latest smartphones and other gadgets for CNet TV.

Surely, the aforementioned women should be sufficient inspirations for the, er, housewife – for want of a better expression – to get into technology and run with it as fast and as far as she can, no? I find it a little odd that some of my female friends thought (until I corrected them) that the Android was a make of phone! Kudos to Apple for making their iPhone ubiquitous to the point where people – including non-technical women (and men) feel the need to posses one!

YOU’VE GOT MALE
I guess part of the problem is that it comes down to men! Yes, who would have thought that in this day and age men are the bane and pain in the course of women getting off on tech! A few months back a female friend told me that she wanted to get a new phone because her old BlackBerry was broken beyond repair, so she went to Phones 4U to see what was on the market and with the view to make a purchase! However, she wanted a pay as you go and the sales person just bombarded her with a bunch of technobabble and proceeded to put her on a contract against her will! This resulted in her getting the hell out of Phones 4U in a flash and to come to me asking for advice! That should never have happened – at Phones 4U! I know what Phones 4U are like! I have been on the receiving end on a bunch of bull from several sales assistants at Phones 4U; as soon as you enter their store they are all over you like a swarm of bees on a sweet banana scented pheromone and try to sting you into taking a contract!

Then there’s PC World (UK) the owners of Phones 4U, the assistants in that establishment – for the most part of my experience – do not know what they are talking about. You go in and ask for a solution and they can lead you to believe that a solution does not exist. But I am quite confident with tech! I know how to research solutions. You’d think that the men in such establishments would know a thing or two, but a majority of the time they haven’t a clue… Oh, don’t get me started on the female sales assistants at PC World…The most they can do is look pretty while taking your money! Not even the most hairy of feminists can argue with that!

START
We have all got to start somewhere! A good 15 years ago I didn’t have a clue about computers, but I knew that I wanted one knowing that certain software could facilitate music production, graphic design, photo & video editing and so on. I don’t mind admitting to not knowing what a Wi-Fi was when I got my first decent Nokia! But I quickly learned! I learned through trial and error! I sure had a lot of errors! Come to think of it, I got my first PC by purchasing the component parts at a computer fair and put it together with the aid of a work colleague! Putting a PC together was more difficult then than  it is today! Today building a computer is like working with Lego!

Again, going back to the “Male-Thing”… I wanted a PC because of all the practical things that I could do with it! So, why don’t a majority of women pursue tech to get things done? An ex-girlfriend of mine felt compelled to purchase a digital camera, but she felt that buying a printer and computer was a bit much until I showed her what photo editing software can do. Women over the age of 35 have the opinion that technology is the domain of men! Today, many women are using their mobile phones to take pictures (and videos) now. I don’t think many are concerned with printing anymore; it’s enough to share via Facebook and other digital means. Even then some of my lovely female friends don’t or didn’t know how to get photos from devices and onto their PC via (micro) USB, Bluetooth, Wi-FI or to take the SD card out and into a card reader!

It seems that technology is seen as the domain of the young! Many women under the age of 30 seem to be making the most out of tech! Dare I say it, some of the time the interest in tech is driven by their efforts to meet men or keep in touch with their boyfriends / partners, etc via Skype and a webcam? It’s good to see young ladies become tech savvy! Well, kinda... Once in a while I am asked to layout / edit a friend's CV because she just have difficulties getting her head around other aspects of Word for Windows beyond letter writing and even then there are terrible spelling and grammatical errors! How is it possible????

I worked as an IT teacher in a community based institute a few years back and I did my best to help out the women of different ages get to grips with the basis of Photoshop! There was a lot of pressure to come through for them, but it was also a pleasure! Now guys on the other hand… I have to say that I hated teaching guys because they don’t pay attention – they think they know it all! You tell them not to do something and they do it and when they get lost in the mire of their own creation they want to blame the teacher, me!

It would make me very happy to see women who view themselves as simple “housewives” take an active part in using technology as part of their daily lives! After all, women are said to be able to multitask!

Ladies, please read Synapse Circuit!

Bless you!