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Ethics question: Dealing with elderly technophobes

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by SlickRCBD, May 29, 2016.

  1. SlickRCBD Gems: 29/31
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    I have an elderly relative who was having trouble understanding some technology. She gave in to peer pressure and got an iPhone.
    She asked me to help with the setup of said phone.
    Not being that familiar with iPhones (I have an Android) for the initial setup, I enabled the broadcasting of the SSID for my wifi to make it easier.
    When the initial setup was finished, I disabled the broadcasting.

    After some difficulties re-connecting due to the fact that I made her do it so she would learn, she could not understand how it kept working when I disabled the broadcasting.

    This was a woman whose late husband and her son were Trekkies, so she knew a bit about Star Trek. She did not like Star Trek, but due to the fact that until around 1991 they only had one TV, she did see quite a bit of it when Next Generation was airing.
    So, after failing to get the concept across, I just told her that I "turned on the router's cloaking device" and that it was sill there but cloaked, and if you it is there you can access it. She knew what a cloak was from Star Trek, and I compared it to the cloak in the TOS episode "Balance of Terror" where it did not make the Romulan ship undetectable, just hard to find.

    Is that ethical to just make stuff up they can understand that is close enough, but totally inaccurate? It is unlikely it will ever make any difference as I am the go-to person for all problems.
     
  2. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    Why would it be unethical? I always use metaphors to help people grasp difficult concepts, even if they aren't accurate. If the person you're instructing manages to understand the matter well enough to allow them to functionally use that knowledge in a sufficient capacity, then it's all well and good.

    The only time you should mind your approach to a subject matter is if you're providing a formal education for people who are expected to further build on the provided knowledge.

    In other words, it's your ethical and professional responsibility to provide good foundational knowledge to students if you're a teacher, but otherwise it doesn't really matter IMO.

    Also, who cares, really? Are you afraid you'll get mobbed by a pack of rabid SJWs for being an oppressive ableist scum? I don't think ethics police is a thing. :shake:
     
  3. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    That's a pretty cool comparison, actually. :D

    Likely only Picard would be :facepalm:.

    :grin:
     
  4. xosmi Gems: 20/31
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    Quoting Terry Pratchett :
    As long as it gets the point across, that's all that matters.
     
  5. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Metaphors are legit, and I think she was perfectly aware you were using a metaphor. A literal cloaking device would have been making the thing physically invisible.
     
  6. Merlanni

    Merlanni Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    And hard to find. Metaphor accepted.
     
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