Skills we take for granted

I live in an area of New York where the road signs for icy bridges are left up year round; it is not unusual to see snow anytime between October 15 and April 30 (which, coincidentally, corresponds with dates you are permitted to have studded snow tires on your vehicle).

Just for that one sentence, I have located an appropriate photo from iStock photo, have looked up the proper use of a semi-colon (according to Matthew Inman), and have looked up (without intending to)  New York state snow tire laws (from Bridgestone)  by (first) searching “October 1 – April 15″, the date range that originally came to mind when I woke up to snow this morning after having snow tires put on my car just yesterday. The reason those dates came to mind is because a friend posted this status update on Facebook: Syracuse tomorrow… :) which led to a string of things about Syracuse, land of icy bridges.

After writing that first paragraph, I answered a quick email then re-read it and wondered about the proper use of parenthesis (which I misspelled – along with the word “misspelled”).

So what did I need to know to do that? What requisite skills were needed?

  • How to open a browser
  • How to find, and responsibly use, images
  • How to save an image to a place where I can later locate it
  • How to write a blog post using the WordPress platform
  • How to use a WYSIWYG editor (so I can have bold words and bullets)
  • How to upload media
  • How to link to sources
  • How to use the Web for spelling and grammar
  • How to search and how to search to get even better results (i.e., quotation marks)
  • And a bunch of other stuff that is so second nature I can’t even distinguish at the moment

To do that I needed my:

  • Electricity
  • Time Warner Cable Internet service
  • Computer
  • WordPress installation
  • Hosting service (because I self-host)
  • Facebook account
  • Browser
  • Search engine
  • iStock account
  • Email account
  • Heartbeat : )

Lest you think I’ve gone mad, I’m just reminding myself (and perhaps some of you) that this is why people’s eyes glaze over sometimes when we’re introducing new technology. As for the first sentence, it’s why my eyes glaze over this time of year but it also makes me think that we should keep the “requisite skills needed” sign up year round too…as a reminder for those not used to the conditions.

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