I have two internet access subscriptions – the primary from Glo and a backup from Etisalat. Sometimes, it is a game of musical chairs switching between them when a problem occurs. Perhaps Glo is misbehaving, and I switch to Etisalat, only to find that there is a problem with that too. Sometimes, I swap SIM cards. Sometimes, I have to swap Wi-Fi connections. It gets frustrating for even a long-time techie like myself. I keep wondering how non-geeks cope with the madness that technology can be.
I use Google Contacts to synchronise my contacts across devices. It is supposed to make life easy for me switching between devices. I enter my Google details on any new device and all my contacts appear in minutes. Nice. Yet, sometimes, Google Contacts duplicates or erases contacts. What I do is generate and store away backups, a process that the average non-geek finds confusing and tiring. How does he cope?
Dad owns a BlackBerry which he uses on the MTN Nigeria network. For the second time now, his BlackBerry has started throwing up an invalid password error for his email account. We have checked again and again: the password is correct. The email address works on other devices, just not BlackBerry. I resolved it the first time. This second time, there has been no resolution. He is tired and thinks the device is faulty. i doubt it, because the same email address is not going through on my wife’s BlackBerry. Yet, the login details are correct. Dad is unable to cope. He has given up and just wants to return the BlackBerry smartphone to MTN where he purchased it from.
Yesterday, I ran into the following tweets by two geeky, techie types. They reinforce the theme of this article:
Google App Sync updated without my permission and now Outlook sync broke.This is getting old. How do non-geeks cope?
— Patrick Moorhead (@PatrickMoorhead) June 6, 2013
I hate administering devices. And I know what I’m doing. Imagine how non-techies feel about this.
— PhoneBoy (@PhoneBoy) June 6, 2013
I can’t even begin to imagine how non-techies must feel.
Till today, my wife still finds operating the home theatre confusing. Ba the simplest operations, she is lost when it comes to anyone else. For example, ask her to pair her smartphone via Bluetooth with the theatre, so we can listen to music over the nice sound system, and you might as well be speaking geek. HDMI? Please! HDMI and UFO belong in the same category. If mom is reading this, she knows that this is also a super sub to her. Yes; I couldn’t pass that opportunity to rub it in, mom. Love you!
My friend, Dayo, narrated how his neighbour purchased an iPhone 5 after much excitement and couldn’t figure out how to get it to work or get internet service on it. He had to walk him through setting it up and then basic usage.
Modern technology has made great advances but is far from being very user friendly to non-geeks. I dare say that it is largely frustrating to them, especially when issues arise. As someone who lives by technology, I encounter enough frustrations to make me just drop everything and go get some sleep sometimes. How do non-geeks cope?