“Years ago when you bought a computer there was a shelf-load of manuals that came with it.
“That doesn’t happen these days.
“For many people, it’s try and fail. Try and succeed. Try and try again. It can be very frustrating.”
Kerry Kaminski has been a volunteer digital tutor at the Red Cross Jeays Street Community Centre in Brisbane for four years. He’s seen first-hand the isolating effects of digital exclusion – how, when people aren’t confident navigating online services it can present significant barriers to employment, health and government assistance, education or training, and other essential services.
“Most organisations want you to do things yourself,” Kerry says. “[They] want you to communicate with them electronically."
“Generally, with people who don’t have that [digital] literacy, it’s: ‘I’m terrified I’m going to make a mistake; I’m going to break it; I don’t know what I’m doing.’”
As a result, he says, many people who visit the centre will avoid computers altogether.