What's more important to you?

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I really got to ask this question.  See, I’ve noticed a rather disturbing trend due to the poor education on the uses of technology, specifically in the entertainment sector.

I just called a friend, his wife answered and said “He’s not home, can you call bck in 20mins I’m just in the middle of watching something?”.

That little innocuous reply is the result of mis-placed importance of entertainment distractions.  Think I’m blowing this out of proportion?  Ok then, example #2.

My mother-in-law asks my wife to call back because she’s “In the middle of her show.”  Usually Survivor or some other such ‘reality’ show(which is farrrr away from ‘reality’, but that’s a whole other topic…).  See, my inlaws live in a different town and we don’t get to see them very often.  So my we call to say hi and how are things but apparently this is a bad idea because TV is much more important that speaking with you own daughter.  On top of that, my mother-in-law was quite upset that she was going to miss the season finale because she would be in England visiting her sisters/mother.

I mean does this just scream something is wrong with our society?  I mean, hey, I’m a damn big geek when it comes to gadgets and such, but never would I let them take precedence over the people I love.  Geeze, that’s what VCR’s were build for…so you can watch them later!  Now you have PVRs and BitTorrent to make sure you never miss an episode!

It seems that society has been groomed for that ‘instant satisfaction’ and damned be anything that gets in the way of stopping that!  See, this is where I have a great little perspective on life and technology.  See, tech is here to help us mature as a species, no de-evolve into being so distracted by the ‘pretty pictures’ that human interaction takes a back seat.  It’s actually very painful to watch.

So I ask you, what is more important to you?  The technological pretty distraction or the human race that is looking for someone to talk to?

On the flip side are the people who reside in the category of “a little bit of knowledge makes you stupid’.  A friend of mine lives with her parents.  She’s not allowed to use the Internet to read her hotmail or use any Instant Messaging programs because ‘they could damage the computer’.  What??!!  It gets better.  She’s not allowed to get her own comptuer and use their Internet connection because “It’ll slow down their connection.”  WHAT??!!!!  I mean damn, I should be heading up to them, with my external 2400 baud modem, and beating them till they bleed ones and zeros!  And I’d do it with the mantra “The Internet makes you stupid!  The Internet makes you stupid!”  It would be a righteous act of retribution!

Ok, so maybe you are thinking that someone of an ‘older generation’ has mis-guided concepts on how technology works.  You could be right, except that besides hydrogen, stupidity is the next most common element in the universe.  I did a cleanup/reinstall of a badly infected and severely fragmented system (I’m talking 97% fragmentation here!).  So when the lady, who helps out her sun run the bar, asks me what happened, I told her.  There was a virus and the system was nigh-unusable because the HD was so fragmented.  I asked what Anti-Virus she runs at her work (she’s some sort of IT manager…keep that in mind when you read the next few lines…), she said “Norton”.  Oh boy!  here we go.

So I ask her why didn’t she use AVG?  She said” it didn’t work, that’s why the system was infected.”

To whit I replied “Guess what I used to remove the virus?”

“What?”  she asked.

“AVG.” I said oh-so-smugly.  “You didn’t update it so it got infected by a newer virus.”

Just in case you missed that underlying tone, I’ll sum up.  We have an ‘IT manager’ who didn’t update the Anti-Virus definition files then blames the Anti-Virus program for not doing it’s job.

While that is the ultimate of moronic thinking, I still feel that beating the luddite parents with an external 2400 baud modem would give me slightly better satisfaction that what I felt when I told this ‘IT manager’ where she screwed up.

(I’m willing to bet that people think I don’t really own the modem….heh)

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3 Responses to “What's more important to you?”

  1. Frode A. Says:

    I know several of these people, and I don’t think it’s due to ignorance, lack of education, or the need for instant satisfaction. I think it just boils down to the fact that people can’t tell a PVR (or VCR for that matter) from a toaster.

    We have a PVR from our local cable company and I swear it’s the best thing I’ve brought into this house since I got HD television. It operates using literally five buttons. One to record, shaped as a red circle. One to open the list of saved recordings, which says “List”. Two to go up and down to highlight the current recordings, shaped as an up arrow and a down arror. And one to select the highlighted recording, which says “Select”.

    To me this is a very simple and user friendly system. I’ve shown it to some of my less tech savvy acquaintances, and every time they keep saying it’s “too complicated”.

    These are the same people who only use one function on their stove, because it has “too many buttons”. Needless to say, they are also all middle aged people.

    There’s a paradigm shift going on, where every-day technology is moving from simple options with few buttons or even just knobs, to full blown computer controller systems with one gazillion options. When you grew up in a world where the TV had one button (or you had no TV at all!), and your thermostat was how many logs of wood you threw in the fireplace, it can be hard to adjust to everything being digitally controlled with more options than you really need. Seriously, do we really need to roast a turkey in our microwaves? I can’t even fit a turkey in there!

    I think we’re in a time of transition where no matter how simple you make a computerized system, it’s still too hard for some people to interact with them. Let’s face it, computer systems are not inherently obvious how to use. They may seem obvious to you or me, because we tap away on computers 8 hours a day so it doesn’t matter if it’s in a laptop or in a fridge, but for someone who doesn’t know Windows 95 from Windows XP, it’s like a brand new adventure (or nightmare) every time.

    Some people love technology and want to stay up to date. Some people just can’t be bothered. I think when the new generations grow up this problem will diminish, because these days as a kid or teenager you can’t not use a computer even if you wanted to. Until then, we’re stuck in limbo with a bunch of people that no matter how easy you make that PVR, they’re not going to remember or understand how to use it.

  2. Just a Guy Says:

    its Called a PVR

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