Dad’s Not the Tech Whiz He Thinks He Is

Apropos of the many Father’s Day celebrations over the weekend, we learn from a new survey that when it comes to technology in the home father doesn’t always know best, even when he thinks he does.

According to the survey, 93% of Americans say there are times when Dad thinks he is the family tech expert, but family members think otherwise. Instead of dad, they turn to a different family member or an outsider for tech help. Males are considered the in-house experts by 65% of Americans. But 42% said the male is usually a son or grandson. About 11% say the tech guru in the house is dad’s daughter or granddaughter.

The survey goes on to report that 84% of individuals at one time or another find help from the in-family expert hard to come by. Reasons include: Not at home when the problem occurs (36%),  too busy (30%), lives too far away (23%). Some family members said they go elsewhere for help because they don’t want other family members to see their files (21%). Some forego familial assistance because they are afraid of being ridiculed for asking stupid questions (19%).

Ed. Note:  The online poll of more than 2,000 adults is a self-serving survey conducted online last month by Harris Interactive on behalf of TeamViewer, a company that sells software that makes it possible to take control of a remote computer the same way professional online support technicians do. Blatant self-promotion aside, the study points up an important fact: Humility is a key component of Literacy 2.0.

Just as studies show that most people consider themselves above-average drivers — a statistical impossibility — it seems that some of us may be deluded in our self-assessment of our own tech savvy. As we become ever more technologically entwined, it is important to remember that everyone is an expert to someone, but no one is an expert to all. A healthy Literacy 2.0 attitude starts with the admission that I don’t know it all, I don’t know enough and I never will. That attitude, in turn, needs to be complemented by there’s always something new to learn and I love learning it. 

Humility is a sign that someone really understands the turbulent dynamics of modern technology. It is a trait you see in truly digitally literate individuals. As the adage goes, those who think they know don’t know. Those who know they don’t know know.

Photo by Brett O'Conner

About the author

More posts by




Add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.