I’ve got a friend that is totally computer illiterate. Hard to believe, uh? Yes, we’ve gone to the same school, hung around the same places, shared similar likings, watched the same TV programmes,…, but she’s never touched a computer in her life. I’ll call her ‘Jane’ (not Jane Doe). Jane runs her business, in quite a successful way. She’s a hard worker, has been through difficult days in her life and fallen several times. But with effort, some luck and a lot of will, she finally established a business that pays her bills. And at the end of the month she still has money to spend in any “idontneedthisbutIreallylikeit” thing.


She has never visited Facebook or MySpace or Tuenti. She hasn’t ever been connected to Internet. She doesn’t have an email account. All the accounting of her business is recorded on a small notebook, using a pen (not a pencil, no need to erase). Her workers are happy with her -most of the time- and she says she’s happy with the way she lives. I tried once to teach Jane to run her business using an Excel spreadsheet (a minimum…). So I turned on my computer, showed her the screen and put her hand on the mouse. She panicked!. Minutes later, she came with her notebook on her hands and waved it at me, asking if the computer could make her make more money than the notebook. I replied that it was not the main use of Excel, that it was a way of organizing her things, her accounts, income, and so on.

Then she pointed a finger to her right temple and said ‘A computer is no better than my head, everything I need is inside here!’. I just laughed, she’s one of my best friends and a great woman, what could I say…