21 People Share The Greatest Software Misuses They’ve Witnessed

Technology is a wonderful thing, but you have to know how to use it. Efficiency is key, and sometimes, people are, simply put, inefficient (perhaps due to incompetency) with these wonderful devices. You can read more on Quora’s thread about these mishaps here.

1. Li Xiong

My mom used a physical calculator to calculate result from two excel cells and put the result to another cell, and repeat for another 200 rows, for 5 years as her end month report job. One day I dropped by her office and helped with the formula. She was wordless and I was loved.

2. Patricia Li

One time, I saw my mother open Firefox, search ‘google’ using the homepage search box, click the link to go to Google, and then search ‘yahoo email’ using Google in order to get to her email.


3. Garwin Kim Sing

I saw a documentary on the same topic where the guy was describing how he taught his 60+ mother how to write an Email. After he went back home, his mother switched on the computer, managed to draft an Email, printed it, stuck it in an envelope and mailed it to him.

You want me to what? Join a guild? I don't know how. image - Alan Light
You want me to what? Join a guild? I don’t know how.
image – Alan Light

4. Bart Van Ulft

A friend uses the recycle bin as file storage.

5. Fahad Khalil

Using Microsoft Word to edit code files :-(

PS: A little clarification: Imagine if you get a spelling & grammar highlight feature, with an editor that capitalizes the next letter after every period, when you were expecting a syntax highlighting editor with actual intelli-sense.

6. Caroline Zelonka

First, it was my own WP software, than we got WordStar, and then, sometime around 1985, we graduated to the fancy stuff: Microsoft Word.

Anyway, when she was in her second year of college, my sister Mary decided she wanted to enjoy the benefits of this “word processing,” too. So she sat down, wrote a whole paper, and then went to save it. Unfortunately, to save a file, you had to tab down to the fields at the right (not shown). The field “Load” appeared first, and “Save” appeared next. God help you if you press Load; this told the computer to clear off whatever was on the screen and open another file. No auto-save, no backup, nothing. She lost hours of work and vowed never to use another computer again.

She stuck to this. For decades. It wasn’t until she entered her 30s and went to grad school that she was forced to use computers again. But only for email and maybe the occasional personal document.

Fast forward to 2009. Mary is tasked with sending a recipe to each parent in her kindergarteners’ class. She’s working, hunt-and-pecking diligently at her iMac. I asked what she was doing.

She was opening a new message window, typing in the “to” field, typing in the subject line, typing in the recipe, and then pressing Send. Then, she’d open a new window, type in another address in the “to” field, and RETYPING THE ENTIRE RECIPE and pressing send.

She was planning to do this 25 times!! My own sister, who had the same access to computers I did, still had no idea how group email worked.

I showed her how to add multiple addresses, how to attach files, and how to cut-and-paste her recipe from the Internet (where she originally found it) so she never even had to type it in in the first place.

This wasn’t anyone’s grandmother, it was my younger sister.

She knows how to use email and even text nowadays, though she has no idea about the internet. Her son is on Reddit all the time and I don’t have the heart to tell her (she’s only concerned about Facebook because she saw The Social Network.)

7. Lam Jun Wei

In the old days, using Limewire to download Limewire Pro.

Don't you miss me?  image - bhand65
Don’t you miss me?
image – bhand65

8. Michael Hayter

My mom confirming her password:

Password: password1
Confirm Password: yes

9. Leo Horie

Using the Pokemon game as a development environment to hand-code Pong, by taking advantages of glitches to write assembler code directly into Gameboy’s memory

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3EvpRHL_vk&w=584&h=390%5D

10. Devang Baheti

I recently met an old friend who said he is using MS Paint to ‘photoshop’ his photographs.

11. Leyan Lo

Last summer, my friend needed driving directions, so she looked up the turn-by-turn directions on Google Maps on her laptop, took a photo of the laptop screen with her iPhone, and used the photo to help her navigate. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Little do you realize, Google is the most photographed website in the world. I just made that fact up. image - danxoneil
Little do you realize, Google is the most photographed website in the world. I just made that fact up.
image – danxoneil

12. Ankit Verma

A girl went to Computer Store with a complaint that her mouse is not working.

Salesman: What’s the problem ma’am?
Girl: I am not able to copy any file from this machine. I need to move this file from my old laptop to my new laptop.
Salesman: Can you please show me how did you try to do this?
Girl : Yes Sure! Just a min.

She fixes the mouse to her old laptop. Copies the file by right click followed by copy. Detaches the mouse from the laptop and carries it to the new laptop and attaches it and clicks “Paste”.

Girl: See, Nothing is happening!

By this time, the shopkeeper is on the ground.

13. Akos Barta

My grandmother mistypes her password. The screen says: Your password is incorrect. So she types “incorrect” in.

14. Joe Lopez

I used to work at a twin plant in El Paso, so there were offices on both the US and Mexico sides. One day we went to visit the manager in Juarez and he wanted to go over a particular report, so he went over to the corner PC to print it out. This is back in the 80s, the magical days of the DOS command line, but it still was taking him longer than usual to generate the report.

Eventually, I wander over to see if I could help and I noticed that he was typing something out, then looking over at the printer, back to typing, printer, etc. Confused, I stepped closer and asked what he was doing. He tells me, “Our monitor died 3 weeks ago so I can’t see what’s on the screen anymore. So first I type the command, hit Print Screen and check the printer to see if it’s right. If it is, I hit enter. If it’s not, I backspace and try again. Sometimes it takes a while.”

And he had been doing this for THREE WEEKS.

15. Jean-Michel Grimaldi

Using Microsoft Word to send a screenshot (copy-pasted in a .doc).

16. Alain Mevellec

If my previous startup (a dating site) we had a lot of funny cases.

The best was the guy that didn’t know scroll existed. I mean, the guy didn’t know how to scroll a window at all.

He had no mouse and didn’t figure out the scroll feature on his laptop, neither the up/down arrows.

For him, the web was limited to his screen height.

Imagine the efforts we had to put to understand his problem over the phone and the guy’s joy when figuring out :-)

17. Matt Wartell

Imagining that Excel is a database.

YOU SHALL NOT PASS. image - coolmikeol
image – coolmikeol

18. Clair Deevy

My Dad wanted to share a link to a webpage with me so he took a ‘print screen’ of the page, pasted it in word, printed out the page, scanned it on his scanner then attached the scan jpg to an email and sent it to me. I didn’t know whether to shake my head that he didn’t know how to copy and paste or be impressed he had learnt so many other things!

19. Jeanine Moss

When my buddy finally got a computer a few years back he spent 3 hours trying to figure out how to turn it off. He never thought of clicking the “start” button to close down the computer. Who would?

20. Kris Luminar

My mother can’t use computers at all and flat out refuses to get a phone. She lives in remote part of N. California. The only way to get a rapid message to her is to call one of the neighbors and have them deliver a message. On one occasion, the neighbor volunteered to accept an email on my mother’s behalf, print it and walk it over to my mom’s. I replied: “you’d do that?” She said “sure”.

I then wrote a long email full of stuff I’d been trying to tell my mom for some time. I month later, I get a message saying that the neighbor was unwilling to do that again because it took too long for her to print it out BY HAND.

When old people say ‘print’ to you, they might mean write something out by hand on paper.

21. Shafeeq Syed

Someone I know once opened an mp3 file using Notepad. You may be wondering why…

He wanted to read the lyrics! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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