• Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Can't deal with computers??


Well-Known Member

I have been absent for a long time, in part because of this problem which is getting worse all the time. I cannot deal with computers, internet, email, etc.

It is information overload and too much to sift through. Just looking at it paralyzes me. In the case of email, everyone is demanding something from me. I have tried using apps on an iPad to help sort and prioritize but I still can't keep up with the influx of new stuff. I have been thinking of quitting my very good job because I can't keep up. We have to use email and Outlook and our inbox is restricted to 100MB storage, so mine is always going over the limit because I can't decide what can be deleted. I started forwarding things to a Gmail account (not a good policy at work) but if I archive things I can never find them again. I can't figure out Outlook even after going to workshops etc. I should be doing professional webinars regularly but I have difficulty keeping up with the schedule (Coordinating all the electronic calendars.) and then logging in, so I have fallen behind in them. And I HATE how every update means I no longer can find the commands I want, or shortcuts I have just learned have become useless. I couldn't even send a gmail the other day because I couldn't find the option to reply, they have made all the visual cues so hidden. I am supposed to be learning a program for metadata management so we can catalogue our natural history collections, but I cannot figure it out and it causes me massive anxiety. I have tried getting my student interns to help me but they are unreliable and don't want to take the time showing me when they already know how these things work. I am not even forty and I am already obsolete.

I was very happy before I had to use a computer. I spent lots of time reading, playing music, making art, writing essays and novels by hand, and going for long walks. Now I am miserable and have no time for any of that. Everyone says Aspies love computers, but I hate them. I wish I could quit my job and still be assured of being able to eat and pay bills. I wish I could do all those things that make me happy, and maybe earn money that way. But everything requires computers now in order to get a job. I can't even fill out online job applications, the system times me out because I take too long. The only reason I have my current job is, one of my former professors encouraged the college to hire me. I like managing collections except the computer work. I like organizing things and repairing them and making displays, and teaching students about the objects. But now I don't really care, I am too overwhelmed. :(

If you have had this experience, I would like to know how you resolved it. Especially if you were able to reduce the time you spend on computers to a manageable amount.
Also, am supposed to be sending a letter of recommendation for a student but Word has locked the document, and won't let me edit it. I MADE THE DOCUMENT, and I never have any reason to lock / protect any files on my own computer. Especially one I am working on. So I have no idea why it did that or how to undo it. I have to call IT and I hate calling IT because I think they hate me for being so stupid about the computers. They sigh a lot and raise their voices sharply when they try to deal with my problems.
When I look back on working in an office before 1981 I always have a sense of serenity about it. When all paperwork was just that. No computers at the branch level. It seemed easier. A time when I didn't feel like I was on a "hamster on a treadmill".

I got so exasperated and intimidated through trashing my home computer there came a point when I decided to become my own geek. When I bought a computer game that wouldn't run on my computer and I didn't have the slightest understanding of what "insufficient conventional memory" meant.

I took the time to learn. Completely self-taught. But no, it's not for everyone. I guess I was just stubborn. Learning computer hardware and operating systems was of great help to me. But it did nothing to lighten my actual work load.
Last edited:
It is a catch twenty two for me. If I were in my own country, then I would be just happy with my little phone, because I prefer texting over speaking and would go to my library for information, but I live in France and so, my computer is my library and in truth, I cannot do without it. But when electricity goes down, I do get a sense of relief and felt so sad that my love of reading, had taken a back seat and suddenly, due several hours without electricity, I got straight back into reading.

I do seem to be able to balance out technology quite well, but perhaps if I worked with computers, I would not be so balanced.

I know of a NT female who works with computers and she refuses to even have anything to do with them, outside of work and will not give her phone number out; hates texting.

I like my life organised and that even goes for technology and have disabled useless updates; very laborious to go through, but that is because this world is about impatience now.

I do value what the internet gives me though, but it does not consume me anymore.

I rather do cross stitching than be on line all the time.
Judge, it is funny you mention it, at one point I was interested in learning coding as well as the hardware and operating systems. But it isn't something I ever got good at and the fact is, I would still have to deal with systems and software that are not of my own conception, and that is what I struggle with--trying to understand what some other geek was thinking when he or she chose this nonsensical visual layout which does not aid the functionality of the program. And it's really the volume of stuff that is the big hindrance. To be fair, I sometimes got that way with writing, when I reached a critical mass of paper and shutdown creatively as a result. Knowing how to work a computer program doesn't seem to prevent information overload and overstimulation, even if it delays the sense of overload a bit longer.
I'm old enough to remember the days prior to the invention of the Internet, times were different back then, at school we didn't have our own email addresses on the school Network, on the contrary we played crap "Educational" games on the BBC Micro and Acorn Archimedes computers.
Yes, Rich, I didn't have an email address until college, and worked on a computer only to type up a final draft of a paper in high school! Also had typing classes in high school. On a TYPEWRITER. :eek:
Yes, Rich, I didn't have an email address until college, and worked on a computer only to type up a final draft of a paper in high school! Also had typing classes in high school. On a TYPEWRITER. :eek:

Oh my. How I wish I would have had a computer and printer in college!

I still recall how many times it would take me to get an entire page without any errors or use of white-out. Also recall how many times I wanted to throw my typewriter through a plate glass window. :eek::eek::eek:
naturalist, i am good with computers and people come to me all the time to sort stuff out,but at the same time, i struggle greatly with information overload and i gave up facebook because of it, and i have about 3000 emails unread in my inbox and i struggle to answer private messages on forums from people because i experience incredible overload from having to process so much language,i feel terrible though because its like im deliberately ignoring people.
i even have a mobile phone for texting people but its been dead for absolutely ages with no credit as i have no motivation for it due to the overload i experience,so i understand your issue,its an autism thing.
i am LFA but my dad is aspie and he is terrible on computers or any kind of technology,its a stereotype that aspies are amazing with technology.
I am glad to know I'm not the only person on this forum who is not a tech geek. I like paper, pens, pencils, and glue. I'm very much a Luddite that enjoys a very few things I can use computers for. A few. Every attempt I make at learning some kind of software ends up with me in tears. Of course when most people hear aspergers they immediately assume computers and math skills goes with it. However computer stuff involves remembering a million things (or at least it feels that way) and there is a lot of shifting from one thing to the next. Click this, open that tab, scroll down, right click something, ect... I use a computer everyday but I need help with anything except the most basic of operations. My inbox is over flowing, lots of websites are too full of distractions for me to use them, and I'll not list everything I hate because I could go on for at least 6 paragraphs. Oh, and Twitter. That is the most confusing thing ever. I never want a Twitter account.

Anyhoo, sorry I have no solutions, but you are not alone. Yeah, I know, that doesn't help much.:)
I have a computer and I use it a lot. Just for the internet. I like having all that information at my fingertips. I delete 95% of my e-mail with out reading it. I go on a handful of forums. I do not even use it for my business. I have printed forms, but they are all hand written. To me, my computer is a source for information, without the encyclopedias of the old days.
That is an unusual predicament , but i can totally see where you are coming from.

I'd like to make a suggestion if i may. Lynda.com, is an extremely good sorce for videos on basic to advanced computer skills, but it does cost money, but there are a number of free computer courses on you tube as well..

There's not going to be less technology in the future, there will be more. If you just invest a relatively small amount of time, and energy, on increasing skills, you will alleviate a lot of stress and probably be proud of yourself in the process.

Leisurely watch just 1- 20 minute video a night. Every night though, religiously, no matter what. I bet in 2 weeks you will be zipping files and downloading internets without a second thought.

Seriously...I understand you like more naturalist, art minded things, but i am the same way, and i do graphic design and photography. Both of which are therapeutic outlets and both require a high level of computer literacy.

Technology is whatever you want it to be. It's just a tool.

Hope you let go of that technology anxiety -
Last edited:
Another resource that I like, in addition to Azul's suggestions, is Google Books. There's many books here that you can buy, if you have a Google Account. The great thing about Google Books, is that you get a free preview of a certain amount of pages from many of the books (that's why I prefer it over Kindle). For example I just searched "Using Windows 10" in Google Books, and one of the books I found were "Windows 10 for seniors in easy steps", and can read 92 of the pages for free. If I were new to Windows 10, those pages might have been enough for a start, and I could simply pay for it, if I wanted to read the rest.

Been doing that for many books. Usually I check up books I want there and either order them on Google Books, or buy the book itself on an online store.
Thank you very much everyone! I am glad not to be the only one who feels overwhelmed. I am trying to do what clg114 and others suggest, use the computer for a limited number of uses. I have pared down my usage to certain programs I need for work, as well as a few things I enjoy at home: this forum, Online Academy of Irish Music, FutureLearn, and Notes from Nature. Technically I can count Notes from Nature as job-related so I shifted that activity to an afternoon when I don't have much to do in the lab. I relegated the other three to rotate between during the evenings (but only one a night, and none on certain nights when I have other obligations). I get my news from papers in the college library on my lunch hour. So now what is left is for work: Excel, PowerPoint, Specify (data management), WordPress, email and social media that is for the program that I manage. I keep trying to get a student intern who will do the social media stuff but they don't have an interest, even the ones who are constantly using their own FB accounts! The thing that causes me the most overload is email, I cannot keep up but feel I cannot ignore it, as my colleagues and supervisors use it heavily to communicate work-related information. I think maybe the anxiety I feel is not simply information overload, it's also demand-avoidance because when I see several dozen new emails (or even one dozen) I panic because all these people want something from me, and dealing with all of it saps my time and energy and makes me feel oversocialized.

In dealing with the technical issues, I will definitely check out Lynda.com and Google books (never used it for tech manuals!). I enjoy learning new skills and want to feel like I can handle my job even if I don't ever prefer the tech, I don't want to feel outdated and it is embarrassing to have to ask others to fix simple things I have screwed up. It makes me feel incompetent, even though I know I could learn if I knew where to start. FutureLearn is something I recently discovered, the online courses are mainly free unless you need certification, and they have so many topics. But I don't have much time to follow many courses at the moment.

New Threads

Top Bottom