people and technology

by desc | Mar 5, 2012 | via dc13

I am constantly surprised by the human reaction to technology.

Any technology sufficiently advanced appears to be magic. – I think that was Arthur C. Clarke.

Yet with the advent of the computer age we have 2 classes of emerging people (discussed by others) those who understand the tech and those who don’t. Unfortunately the latter have an interesting way of describing things when you are trying to support a user remotely or when they are reporting back how they got on.

  • It doesn’t work.
  • It didn’t load.
  • It gave an error.

Yet on each of these occassions the user fails to realise that had they clicked the link in their email I would have been able to tell that the page loaded as it is all stored. So when I get the constant it does not work from the users I can fathom that as laziness, or hiding their incompetence by complaining rather than admit inadequacy.

When this occurs and it is frequent I can deal with it. Unfortunately however the people in the hierarchy above me who get complaints from some academic or CEO, with loads of letters after their name that it does not work, they tend to believe them. This highlights the technology issue. People complain without trying and those that are all good do not compliment as it works for them – the way it should be seamless and in the background.

Technology should make my life easier and stay in the background.

This was a discussion I had with a user who I have not spent any time helping. Interesting that they must not have a complaint to make.

In a previous post there was a flow chart making the point.

Users are trying to hide their incompetence through the statement – “the technology (programme / site / code)  doesn’t work”

I would like as in driving to start the mantra – “I don’t work the technology” just as we say “I don’t drive”


“driving doesn’t work” – this is also true for another area I have written on – physical skills (coming soon).