Almost every day someone in my immediate network will struggle with their technology. Whether this is while using their phones, accessing their emails, or responding to error messages from the system, it is often very basic things that they struggle with.
But it is clearly widespread. If I extrapolate what I see in my own network to the entire population then the overhead must be enormous. I know in the predominantly Windows workplace people spend inordinate amounts of time fighting their technology. One of the reasons I have always preferred Apple stuff is because they make their best efforts to reduce this level of frustration but even they are far from perfect.
This is a hard problem to solve. Technologists make their best efforts to improve interfaces and simplify processes and yet at the same time the possibilities increase and our expectations are raised. Equally people still seem to have a quite passive attitude towards technology and, in my biased view, don’t make enough effort to overcome some of the more basic difficulties.
Most of the time I try to be patient when I am asked to help but it can be frustrating. I remember a quote from an old IT guy at work: “If you want to sort out your corporate computing make UNIX the standard platform and if the buggers can’t work out how to use it they shouldn’t have a computer.” and on a bad day I feel like agreeing.