Technology, You're Doing it Wrong

1/17/2013 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments

Sure, it's unreasonable to expect everyone to use every tool in exactly the way it was designed.  I get that.  Especially when it comes to technology.  There will always people that don't know how to use it properly, aren't capable of understanding how to use it properly, don't want to know how to use it properly, refuse to use it properly, and enjoy using it improperly.  I accept that, but that doesn't mean I can't be frustrated by it.  We all do it in some ways, even the best of us.

This post started out as a list of the most common improper technology uses, but it rally just turned into rants about the 5 things that frustrate me most about technology and people I dislike.

So pretty much I decided to just follow a loose structure to disguise my bitching, but I digress.  We've probably seen or done or been annoyed by all of these.

1. Tablets used for photography

We've all seen this guy, everyone's at the edge of the grand canyon with varying types of cameras.  Some point and shoot, most people probably on a cell phone camera of some sort, then there's that on guy snapping a pic on a 10" tablet.  I honestly blame the manufacturers.  Why do we need a front facing camera on our tablets (thank you Nexus 7)?

I literally found this by Googling "dumbass take picture with tablet.




Because the 5MP sensor on your phone is acceptable because of the convenience of it being on your phone.  The 5MP sensor on your tablet?  There is no upside.  I can even understand taking pictures with it around the house, but who lugs around a tablet for the purpose of taking photographs?  This is the only time I would prefer using 2 different devices (point and shoot camera and smartphone) over one (tablet).

2. Overuse of hands free

I get it, you like Siri, Google Now, or whatever that fancy voice activation app you bought is.  Voice activated services are pretty cool and useful at times when it's not appropriate to use your hands to navigate your phone.  But seriously, if you are voice texting in public, I'm not sure why you're not making a phone call.  Voice activation is pretty great, but in my book it's still a gimmick trying to play with the big boys.  Don't get me wrong, I use it myself, when I need to google something quick, or when I'm driving in traffic, or want Google to do a barrel roll, or check someones bacon number, and many other completely practical and necessary tasks, but I'm not that guy in line at McDonalds yelling into my phone: "Google, what is the score of the patriots game, because I can't watch the playoffs today, but I still like to try to follow the game using mobile technology and I have no idea how to properly use search terms, please give me results from NFL.com would be preferred, thank you"

Yes, these things actually happen.

3. Not integrating into an ecosystem

This is another pet peeve of mine, but the more I think about it, the more I'm being a snobby deuchebag, but whatever.  I use a Google phone, I have Google mail, I use Google Calendar, I listen to Google Music, I read Google Books, I store stuff in Google Drive, I watch YouTube, I navigate with Google Maps, I sync podcasts through Google Reader and get my feeds through Google Currents.  I'm not saying those are all the best apps (in fact I would never say that... it's not true), but I have a google account and A- I hate creating new accounts (mostly because being named Stephen Colbert makes it difficult to use any reasonable username and I must go by a gamertag or add a million numbers to my name), and B- They work together.  It just makes sense.  The more Google services I use (and the more pieces of me they own), the more valuable each individual one becomes to me.  Google Now is pulling info from all of those to enhance my experience, and swapping between devices is also extremely easy on these.  What I don't get, is someone who is setting up a new phone and needs to get the yahoo app for yahoo mail, use doubletwist to sync music (Google Music will sync with any software people), waze for navigation, dropbox for files, Amazon for books, and etc.

Also, people that have an iPad, an Android phone, and a kindle.  What are you doing with your life?  Not integrating into an ecosystem, that's what.  I imagine this is what normal people feel like when someone wears one black sock and one blue sock.

Having said that, I get it, some people like to use everything, and that's all well and good.  Me too.  I'm not talking about those of us that carry multiple phones or try multiple products due to a love of technology.  I'm talking about the people that don't know that you can read your kindle books on your iPad (yeah, e-ink, whatever).

4. Double clicking everything

I don't have much to say about this one.  It's not a big deal and probably shouldn't even be on the list, but I don't want to be a dick and yell "you don't have to double click web links!"  So I just silently endure and bitch about it on the internet.

5. Not following specific detailed instructions

Anyone that provides tech support has probably seen this many times and may have even posted about it on reddit, but I have found the most common issue I encounter is not technical ignorance, but an inability to follow instructions.  In and out of the office, I see it everywhere.
(generalized to represent a generic script for most interactions)
User: Fix my problem!
Me: Sure, what's your problem?
User: Nothing works
Me: Like, it's not turning on?
User: No it turns on, but it doesn't come up
Me: Nothing comes up?
User: Right, nothing at all
Me: So the operating system doesn't load?
User: No, that comes up
Me: So the operating system is loading, but your program isn't?
User: No, the program comes up, but it doesn't do X
Me: Ahhh, ok, thanks.  I can definitely help, just do A, B, and C.  Make sure you let me know before you do C, though, or it won't work.
User: It's still not working!
Me: Did you do A yet?
User: No...
Me: Do A
User: It didn't work
Me: What didn't work?
User: Anything
Me: Did you get an error message when you tried to do A, or did nothing happen?
User: Oh, wait.  I tried A and it worked, but C won't work
Me: Do B first, then wait for me to tell you to do C
User: I did B, but C doesn't work, this so called technology is a piece of crap!
Me:
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