Please DON’T Draw Me a Sheep

the-little-prince-11Little Prince, anyone? Le Petit Prince? I admit, I only read it because my 9th grade French teacher made me…but like a lot of folks, I learned to love that story with a sweet, painful nostalgia.

My favorite line: “Please, draw me a sheep.” (“S’il vous plait, dessine-moi un mouton.”)

The Little Prince wants the narrator’s help in doing something he cannot do himself. The narrator complies. The sheep is drawn and the story moves forward.

But the Little Prince has not learned how to draw his own sheep. Good thing he only needed the one.

Technology these days feels to me like a whole herd of sheep, each one of which needs to be drawn in some detail. And that, for me, is the problem. Here’s an example.

Me: I want to make my blog look cooler.

Friend: Oh, I just use ***app-of-the-month supplied by new company with a name that sounds like it was coined by four year-olds****. You should try it!

Me: Uh, sure, if it works for you…

Friend: Oh, it DOES. Get it.Try it. Use it. ***other assorted verbs that make technology seem as effortless and graceful as Fred Astaire tap-dancing***

Me [three hours later, after struggling to figure out how to download said app, walk my way through its steps, realize that the cool stuff isn’t free, give app-people my VISA number, then get welcomed to a home page telling me all the AMAZING stuff I can now do but not giving me the slightest bit of tutorial on HOW to do it so I have to figure it out for myself..].: Next time, can you just come over and do it for me?

Once more, technology has disempowered me, in the ironic guise of making it seem as though the world is at my fingertips.

Sometimes I think my friends are tired of my techno-stupidity...

Sometimes I think my friends are tired of my techno-stupidity… (courtesy someecards)

Problem is, my fingertips don’t know what to DO with all that possibility. I want someone to TEACH me.

Teaching–THAT I know. After 20 years in the classroom, I understand about step-by-step, repetition, guided practice, the sequence of I do it/we do it/you do it/you teach someone else.

Here’s a radical idea: why can’t website tutorials be more like teachers?

Friends are busy; I understand they don’t have the time to walk someone like me through every step of every new “thing” you can do with your computer. But if tech websites offered a page or two of practice sessions, I could quit bugging my friends.

I  wonder if anyone else out there shares this frustration when someone airily tells them, “Oh, just get this. Try this. Use this.” I wonder if anyone else wants to LEARN to draw the damn sheep, rather than needing to ask each time for someone to draw it for us.


8 thoughts on “Please DON’T Draw Me a Sheep

  1. Poor dear! Send me an email off line. I’ll see if I can help. Instructions are there, you just have to know where to look. (Kind of like the secret handshake…muahahahaha.)

    And what the heck’s wrong with your website? It’s clean and crisp. This is GOOD.

    • You poor thing! But “it” is too large to figure out; it is not one small tech problem, but the whole DIY mindset that comes with technology that I am frustrated with. This is not a winnable battle, obviously.

  2. Gretchen – I am a total technophobe! Honestly! I know this about myself which is why I hire people to do the important things for me, like build my website and someone else to maintain it. And just ask Jay Donovan (he goes by JayTechDad but he’s really JayTechGod), I ask plenty of really stupid questions and he is always so patient and kind. Seriously, if you can afford to do so, stop stressing and hire Jay!

    • Yes, I have learned to ask Jay. He is wonderful. But I guess my point is, I wish I didn’t have to ask. I wish the tech world came with tutorials that obviated the need to constantly run to experts for help with missing steps.

  3. Look out, Rhenna, or you’ll find yourself becoming my own personal tech-angel. Actually I’m not stymied by any particular thing at the moment; this is just an overall observation/frustration. “You just have to know where to look” kind of proves my point, if you think about it: what if you don’t? But anyway, you are very sweet to offer help, and I’m quite sure I’ll be taking you up on it sooner or later! 🙂

  4. I had the same experience trying to find some banner art for my WordPress site. It offered a few teaser samples but the good ones required a credit card and navigating through complex instructions.

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