“You can’t survive without computer literacy!” says touch-typing course

What would you say were the most essential skills in our modern world? Ability to tell when a Nigerian Prince is pulling your leg? Understanding of exactly what a PPI claim is and isn’t? Aptitude at determining adverts from news articles? Nope! 

Forget darning, baking and fixing the car – the skills you REALLY need in the 21st century are setting the satnav and putting your rubbish in the right bin

Connecting to WiFi, knowing how to use Google and tuning HD TVs were listed today as some of the most useful skills of modern life.

In a survey which polled 2,000 adults, using a self-service checkout,online banking and operating satnav replaced talents such as knitting and baking to be named the most ‘essential’ capabilities in British culture.

Only 10 of the 50 most important skills didn’t involve modern technology, with cooking and using a calculator among them, while participants counted sewing and letter writing as skills that are no longer needed.

Source: Daily Mail, 7th September 2013

Oh darn it, now WiFi is listed as an ‘essential’

USING WiFi and self-service supermarket checkouts are among modern life’s essential skills, a poll shows.

Searching the internet, mastering online banking and being able to touch-type are also in the top 50.

But darning, knitting and being able to bake fresh bread are said to be no longer necessary for everyday life.

Source: Daily Express, 7th September 2013

Whichever way you look at it, as long as you only look at it the way these news stories present it, having technical skills is much more important than the kind of skills that were useful when Granny was just a young girl. Which is a handy hook, given the company behind the ‘research’:

A spokesman for touch-typing course www.kaz-type.com, who carried out the poll said: ‘For generations, there are skills which have been passed down from parent to child, because they were deemed so essential to everyday life.

‘However, it seems technology is wiping out some of those skills as gadgets can now do it for us.

‘The internet has become such a huge part of life that it’s so important to know how to use it, while built-in address books on mobile phones mean we no longer have to memorise the phone numbers of loved ones.

‘If anything, touch-typing is only becoming more important over time as so many careers now rely on computers more than ever for their day-to-day work.’

While it seems that touch-typing can be learnt via an online course, it appears that subtlety can’t. 

Still, what about that ‘research’, which proved that once-cherished skills are now worthless? Where did that come from? I’m positive regular readers won’t be at all surprised to discover that the ‘research’ – which also featured in the print editions of the Mail, Express and Telegraph – stemmed from a survey conducted by Bad PR regulars OnePoll

Press release in hand, a quick check over at Churnalism.com shows that Daily Mail journalist Jennifer Smith took a whopping 86% of the original press release into her article.

Touch-typing is surprisingly easy when you’re only doing 14% of the work, of course.