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Computer Levity: These Jokes Are On You!

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“He who laughs last backed up.” We laugh at this line, but there’s always some truth lurking behind humor, insights that can be illuminating. That’s why the best humor is self-deprecating. By poking fun at ourselves we reveal our humanity. Other jokes poke fun at those we collectively deem deserve it. If they don’t, it’s just not funny.

Computer users have long made fun of themselves, and they’ve generously shared these jokes with others. Telling a joke around the water cooler, or on the Internet around the virtual water cooler, is a tradition.

If you share jokes via email or text, though, it’s always best to make sure recipients are receptive. Too many jokes can look like spam—unwelcome intrusions.

The jokes below circulate widely. You may have seen some of them, or not. Do you see yourself?

Three of Murphy’s Laws of Information Technology: 1. When computing, whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen. 2. When you get to the point where you really understand your computer, then it’s probably obsolete. 3. To err is human. To really screw things up royally requires a computer.

Two signs that digital technology has taken over your life: You have a collection of hundreds of emojis, most of which nobody knows the meaning of. You back up your data every day.

Among the commandments of online flaming: Make things up about your opponent (it’s important to make your lies sound true). Preface your argument with the word “clearly.” Tell people how smart you are (Why use intelligent arguments to convince them you’re smart when all you have to do is tell them?). When in doubt, insult.

Overheard a woman in a computer store saying to the sales assistant: “I want a game capable of holding the interest of my six-year-old, but it’s got to be simple enough for his father to play.”

Q: There are two shift keys. Which should I use? A: Avoid unnecessary wear on either shift key by alternating between the two. Keep track of your usage of each key so that you press them in equal amounts. Your keyboard may be equipped with a small notepad. You should use this to make little tally marks in two columns for each time you shift. Remember, it’s better to go to a little trouble than wind up with a broken shift key.

Signs that you’re an Internet addict: You kiss your girlfriend’s Facebook page. You step out of your room and realize that your parents have moved and you don’t have a clue when it happened. All of your friends have an @ in their names. Your dog has its own Twitter account. Your husband tells you he’s had the beard for two months.

Sign that your son is a hacker: He tells you that his private interview with the FBI agent was for an essay he’s writing for his social studies class.

Two signs that you’ve been on the computer too long: You’re reading a book and swipe to get to the next page. You get in an elevator and double-press the button for the floor you want.

A doctor, an engineer, and a computer scientist are discussing the oldest profession. The doctor says, “God created Eve from Adam’s rib, which obviously required surgery, so surgery must be the oldest profession.” The engineer, referring to an even earlier passage in the Bible, says, “God created order from chaos, a tremendous engineering feat, so engineering must be the oldest profession.” The computer scientist shoots back, “Yes, but who do you think created the chaos?”

One of Microsoft’s finest technicians is drafted and sent to boot camp. At the rifle range, he’s given some instructions, a rifle, and bullets. He fires several shots at the target. The report comes from the target area that all attempts have completely missed the target. The technician looks at his rifle and then at the target. He looks at the rifle again and then at the target again. He puts his finger over the end of the rifle barrel and squeezes the trigger with his other hand. The end of his finger is blown off, whereupon he yells toward the target area, “It’s leaving here just fine. The trouble must be at your end!”

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.

You can find more, including material for presentations, at these sites:’s Fast Guide to IT Humor

Pinterest’s Computer Humor

Reid Goldsborough is a syndicated columnist and author of the book Straight Talk About the Information Superhighway. He can be reached at or

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