Originally published in The Clarion | November 21, 2012
Technology can be intimidating. No matter your level of technological expertise, at some point it is almost guaranteed you will be confronted with a situation that you simply do not know how to handle. For some, it could be getting your first smartphone or tablet device. For others, it could be coming face-to-face with the infamous Blue Screen of Death on your Windows machine. For those of us who work in the realm of IT, it could be an unhappy network switch or server process that suddenly decides it no longer wants to function properly. Whatever the case, unless your technological limit is a 13-channel television set, a day will come when a hurdle is thrown at you by some sort of gadget.
How we choose to tackle such a hurdle has a lot to do with not only our level (or lack thereof) of technical expertise but also our general mindset when it comes to dealing with unfamiliar challenges. From several years of on-the-job experiences and, even more so, years of talking to people, observing situations and reading about such online, I have determined that there simply is no de facto solution to any given technological situation. Any given situation can have multiple resolutions, add in the human factor and we now have not only multiple solutions, but many other factors to deal with. Some folks simply refuse to address technological issues simply out of fear of making things worse. Others may have a much more aggressive attitude and are willing to tackle the situation head-on, often without considering the consequences if their actions are futile. I have always been a proponent for users to take at least somewhat of a middle-ground approach. Failure to at least attempt to resolve an issue ensures that you most likely will never advance in your technological abilities. Because of this, I am always in favor of at least giving something a try.
As technology advances, software applications and the underlying Operating Systems continue to become more complex. New features come about seemingly all the time that can better handle situations when problems occur. Where just a couple years ago a Web Browser crash simply meant that you instantly lost everything you had open and that a system reboot was inevitable, today’s browsers are much more capable of not only remedying the situation without the dreaded reboot but they also do a much better job of taking care of issues before a full crash can happen. I only see this being the case even more as time goes by. With technological advances, odds are pretty good that before too long most of the problems that many of us face on a somewhat-regular basis will be nothing more than a memory from the past. Here’s to hoping this comes true.