March 13, 2012

On the wrong side of the digital divide

Filed under: Business,Technology — by xrematon @ 10:40 pm
Tags: , , ,

Does it sound silly for me to say that I feel digitally excluded? Obviously, it does in some senses given that I have typed this blog post. So what do I mean?

Well, I am thinking about the times when my ‘digital activity’ has been compromised as I don’t have a printer and it is assumed that being online also means having a printer. No point in getting some handy vouchers – I can’t print them off. Or ticket bookings.

The time I got very cross was opening a new bank account with Santander. It was – admittedly – an eSaver account – but why should that mean I need a printer too? There was one particular form necessary to activate the account, which I was emailed through with the assumption that I could print out a hard copy, fill in and then post off. I went to the effort of ringing to see if I could get the form sent to me in the post, but the person I spoke to was adamant this was not an option. Grrrr…

As a counterpoint to this frustrating experience, let me describe a more positive interaction with Amazon. I wanted to return an item and followed the instructions on the site. I reached the stage when there was a form to print out – my heart sank – and then rose again when I read on. You could just send back the sales slip that came with the pack. Hooray – I could function!

Perhaps I am being rather silly and making a mountain out of a molehill but I really don’t want to be forced into getting a printer. They are ugly dark boxes (there is no beautifully-designed Apple-equivalent of a printer despite the claims of this article); producing extra paper doesn’t make sense in a world when we are trying to streamline the amount of stuff we use up; and given this, why can’t I use just a code or an email sent through on a smart phone instead?

But I do have an Achilles heel – I like my photos to be tangible – but that’s what Photobox is for!


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