User Friendly Technology

INT. STUDY – DAY

MARYANNE (43) sits in front of her computer with her glasses on. Her son THOMAS (17) leans over next to her, and her other son ALEX (15) reads on the couch behind them. Maryanne holds an e-book reader which is attached to the computer.

MARYANNE
It looks too small to hold books.

THOMAS
What? No. Mum. The size doesn’t matter. You don’t actually put a book in it, it’s not just a fancy cover for a book. It’s an e-book reader.

MARYANNE
So it reads the books to me?

THOMAS
No! Why would it- It simply holds electronic books that you then read off it’s screen.

MARYANNE
So I still just read the book?

THOMAS
Yes.

MARYANNE
Then why wouldn’t I just read the actual book? What do I need this thing for?

THOMAS
Because it can hold ten thousand books all at once. You can literally carry your whole book collection with you wherever you go.

MARYANNE
No it can’t, look how small it is.

THOMAS
THE SIZE DOESN’T MATTER!

Thomas takes a calming breath.

THOMAS (CONT’D)
Look, can we just put some books on it. Then I think you’ll understand it better.

MARYANNE
Okay. Should I go get a book?

THOMAS
The books are electronic! They’re electronic, okay! They’re on the computer, we put them onto the e-book reader, at no point is paper involved!

MARYANNE
They’re on the computer?

THOMAS
Oh my God, YES! Please, can I just show you how to do this?

MARYANNE
Of course, that’s what I’m waiting for you to do.

THOMAS
Good, okay. So take the mouse and click on the documents folder.

MARYANNE
Hold on, I’m going to have to write this down.

THOMAS
No you don’t, it’s really easy, we’re just dragging files from one folder to another.

MARYANNE
No, I have to write it down, I’ll never remember this.

THOMAS
It’s three steps!

Maryanne opens a draw and pulls out a pen and paper.

MARYANNE
Okay. What was it?

THOMAS
Click on the documents folder.

MARYANNE
Okay, slow down, slow down.

Maryanne makes a note in her pad.

MARYANNE (CONT’D)
Good. Next?

THOMAS
Then click on the e-books folder.

MARYANNE
I don’t see that.

THOMAS
That’s because you haven’t open the documents folder yet!

MARYANNE
Oh right. See I told you I needed to write this down.

Maryanne opens the documents folder. Thomas rubs a hand over his exasperated face.

MARYANNE (CONT’D)
What next?

THOMAS
OPEN THE E-BOOK FOLDER!

MARYANNE
Okay, you don’t need to raise your voice. I’ll write that down.

Maryanne makes a note in her pad.

MARYANNE (CONT’D)
Okay, so I click on it…

Maryanne opens the e-books folder, which contains lots of book files.

THOMAS
Good. So as you can see there are a whole lot of books in here.

MARYANNE
Now how did they get in there?

THOMAS
I downloaded them for you.

MARYANNE
Do I need to know how to do that?

THOMAS
We’ll climb that mountain another day. For now I’ll just download them for you.

Maryanne starts to make a note in her pad.

MARYANNE
Thomas will download them for me…

THOMAS
You don’t need to write that down!

MARYANNE
I’ll forget otherwise.

Thomas takes a deep breath.

THOMAS
Alright. Fine. Then the last step is to just click and drag the files into the e-book reader.

Maryanne holds the e-book reader up to the side of the monitor and tries to drag a file from the computer across to it.

MARYANNE
It won’t leave the screen.

THOMAS
No, Mum, you just need to drag it into the e-book reader folder. The one on the desktop.

MARYANNE
Let me just write that down.

Thomas clenches his fists.

MARYANNE (CONT’D)
Okay, so I’m dragging it…

Maryanne finally drops a file into the right folder.

THOMAS
And that’s it. The book’s on your e-book reader now.

MARYANNE
Wow, that’s amazing, just like that.

THOMAS
Yep, just like that.

MARYANNE
So should I go get one of my books now…?

Thomas looks at her shocked.

THOMAS
I give up! I GIVE UP.

Thomas storms out of the room. Maryanne chuckles.

ALEX
Trying to drag the file off the screen was a nice touch.

MARYANNE
Thanks. He’s so easy to mess with.

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