How Is It Possible that 90% of People Don't Know About Command + F?

This seems impossible. The thought of having to use a computer every single day without knowing how to keyboard search is maddening. And yet, according to a Google researcher, almost the entire human population lives this way.

The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal relays this confounding stat after sitting down with Google's Dan Russell:

"I do these field studies and I can't tell you how many hours I've sat in somebody's house as they've read through a long document trying to find the result they're looking for. At the end I'll say to them, 'Let me show one little trick here,' and very often people will say, 'I can't believe I've been wasting my life!'"

Do they just scroll? And scroll, and scroll, and scroll, reading every single word until they find the one they're looking for? Do they just give up? Think how many papers go unwritten, how many gifts go un-given—all because 90% of humans can't find what they're looking for. It may be easy to write this off as a 21st century luxury—after all, people did look for written things for those millennia before the computer existed—but it's not. We're in a data deluge, and the inability to search is a serious handicap. Copy and paste keyboard shortcuts are a convenience. But the ability to find a word among tens of thousands with the press of a couple buttons is a superpower. I can only some of that 90% will stumble upon this post, and have a great revelation. If you are one of those people, hit command + F or control + F on your keyboard, and drink enlightenment. [The Atlantic]

Photo: Dejan Lazarevic/Shutterstock


You can keep up with Sam Biddle, the author of this post, on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.