cross-posted from:

Boomer in like Facebook/tiktok is their final technology frontier.

My friends/circle (ages 19 - 72): 95% don’t know how to set up Adblock on desktop. 20% only use computers once a week. 5% use shortcuts like copy and paste. 30% of them buy iphones bc they find android too hard too bother with (I agree with this). 1% struggle with basic concepts like knowing if they are posting a status or DMing someone. Tho 10% trade stocks by themselves, so with sufficient motivation they could learn.

I have onboard 1 person irl and I had to walk them through it.

I rate the fediverse as 0/10 for assessibility to boomers but have not tried the whole fediverse


I personally think that the Fediverse is kind of tricky for both Boomers and the mid-to-young-ist Zoomers. But for different reasons based on the kinds of issues/questions I get when trying to help both age ranges with their computers. The TL;DR if you don’t want to read all of my rant is: It is really down to understanding how to best approach it with them. And to just be ready to teach them while starting out. Social media these days is like the Zoomer version of how Boomers love cable/satellite TV.

Boomers have just less understanding of the internet and non-office work on computers. Like they think that the MUST have Outlook in order to get emails. Or how some of their kids and grandchildren could only get them to switch from using IE to Chrome or Firefox by labeling the icons as “Internet” or even changing the icon for the shortcuts to be IE.

They are also a big factor in how crazy ads have gotten on news sites (IMO). As they are more likely to click on them and even think the ads are news stories (or at least have some belief/trust that if the ads are on a news or other reputable site that they aren’t scams). I have personally had to deal with a couple of older folks that freaked out when they got home after their PC was fixed by me. All because “stuff is missing” on whichever start page news site they visit. I had to explain that nothing of actual importance was actually “missing” and show them how uBlock Origin is actually protecting them. Just turned it off and basically A B viewed the site with and without the ads. And that the slide-show of stories has a lot of ads that are meant to look like news. They were happy about it in the end.

Mid to young-ist Zoomers on the other hand (like another commenter said) are much more used to highly centralized services. They aren’t used to how much more detached from each other the internet was back in the 80’s/90’s/00’s. For them it is about being where everyone is at and where they could be seen by the most people. Another issue for them is how they really seem to be going backwards with regards to basic computer literacy/skills.

They are super versed in iOS and Android (and maybe Chrome OS), and it shows when I need them to tell me where they might have saved something important. Since their phones really really don’t like for users to “explore” the filesystems and hide it all behind pretty apps. They have no idea where anything is unless it is in their Downloads or Desktop folders. Even just knowing to keep track of how much space is left on their HDD/SSD is a struggle. Especially since so many of them have become interested in having “gaming PCs”. They love to watch stuff like LTT or Marques Brownlee and the various Twitch streamers. But since they really only use their phones and consoles, they don’t understand how PCs require more effort because they don’t stop you from messing things up. Or that they even need to install the OS (but TBF I also have to explain this to many people of all ages since they tend to only ever buy pre-built OEM stuff or phones that the OS is actually flashed on and hard to completely remove).

So I think that the Fediverse is currently mostly something Gen X, Millennials, and older Zoomers are able to take to the easiest. Due to either being online before what we know as “social media” and having to hunt down stuff. Or from being around while social media was just forming and while stuff like web forums were more of a thing. I think that it is more of an education thing more than any specific Fediverse program/server/instance. The “Mastodon is more like email” description is the best way to get Boomers to view it while also “feeling” like how they can see updates similar to their Facebook feed. Zoomers are tricky due to being so super connected to chat and social media. But the stuff they know is major sites/services that have so much money and resources to basically provide unlimited space for uploads and/or being able to be on everything at all times. So the need to be aware of any limits or restrictions/limitations of any service they use can be a deal breaker. But if they can focus long enough to learn, then they could reverse the trend of treating computers in the same way that Boomers treat cable/satellite services. So much expectation of little to zero effort on their part is going to be what could lead to us just having AI just tell them what they can and can’t do.

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Fediverse is a portmanteau of “federation” and “universe”. It is a common, informal name for a federation of social network servers whose main purpose is microblogging, the sharing of short, public messages.

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