How to Succeed at Using Technology

for Beef

We've all been there: I'm talking about that delicate intersection between loving technology for the advantages that it offers and absolutely loathing it for not working properly or in the way that we expect.

To all Luddites and technophobes amongst my readership: take heart. There is hope for you. Just bear in mind these three tips regarding how to succeed at using technology, and you will rarely, if ever, go wrong again.

How to Succeed at Using Technology:

1. Don't be under a deadline.  It's a well-established fact that if you are under a time crunch, everything will grind to a halt.  Planning to get your federal income taxes e-filed just hours before midnight? Your internet will go out for no discernible reason. Need to print something? You will be out of mauve ink, causing your printer to refuse to print anything at all, whether or not a hint of mauve appears on the document. If you do have enough ink, you will be out of paper. If you have ink and paper, your computer will refuse to communicate with the printer, and the error message will flash up as an "Unknown Error" and advise you to contact your Network Administrator, which is you.  Fun times.

2. Don't care very deeply about whether something works or not.  It never fails: your smart phone will work just fine all afternoon while you're deedling around on Facebook, listening to Pandora, and Instagramming pictures of what you had for dinner; however, the minute your roommate calls you and asks in a frantic voice if you have time to Google the distinguishing characteristics of brown recluse spiders--just in case!--you will suddenly be unable to connect to your network.  Then your battery will die.

3. Don't worry about whether excessive technology use is undermining your ability to think for yourself. Can't calculate the tip in your head? Don't worry: there's a calculator on your phone. Forget where you parked your car? Don't worry: there's an app for that. Feeling like taking a road trip without all the hassle of planning? Just log your destination into your GPS and hit "Go!" Never mind the fact that mental math is a strong indicator of healthy cognitive development,1 that dependence on time-and-memory-saving apps may be making us dumber,2  and that sometimes GPS systems make mistakes, sending us miles off course and causing navigation errors that we'd never have considered making if we'd even so much as glanced at a map.3

The truth is that, like most entries made on this blog recently, this post isn't really helpful. That's because "How to Succeed at Using Technology" isn't really the issue at hand. Rather, we need to be considering "How to Succeed at Life (with or without Technology)."4

2 - Probably.
4 - Yes, you guessed it: coming soon.


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