The desktop computer revolution more than 30 years ago brought technical analysis and charting to the masses - the first charting packages were simple but they were a massive advance over what could be done by hand.
Over time, charting analysis programs have become both more sophisticated and easier to access. Charting has shifted from stand-alone programs to being integrated into many trade execution platforms and even the most basic of free online programs and brokerage-provided software include 30 to 50 technical indicators.
The result is that more people are dabbling in technical analysis without really understanding what is involved, because the pace of education has not kept up with the pace of change.
It's more than just not understanding how technical indicators are used, this very amateurish approach also includes the misplacement of trend lines, support and resistance levels. This is not helped by the popularity of some software that claims to automatically plot these lines.
These points are significant because moves above or below these levels are used as triggers for trade entries or exits. Getting the position correct is essential for trading success, and ignorance can be exceptionally dangerous and expensive in the financial markets.
A case in point is the line chart of the dollar index with a downtrend line. A respected TV financial commentator told viewers in Australia recently that the dollar index had broken out from the downtrend and the US dollar was poised to go higher.