Nobody likes broken technology. I mean, I guess there are some people out there who get a weird sense of satisfaction from fixing broken technology, but are they really excited that it’s broken or that they were able to fix a problem? Are there actual human beings living in 2021 that pick up their phone and hope it doesn’t work? I have to believe the answer is no. Unless you were trying to get off the grid for a while. Broken broken feels like a strong wish, though, when you could just turn it off or leave it at home.
For the more sane among us, broken technology is never a fun time. Technology, for starters, is expensive. Like sell your first child expensive and every year those prices climb a little more. It’s the most exhausting hill climb I’ve ever done. Remember when you could get a phone for like, well I don’t actually remember anything pre several hundred dollars, but at some point it was affordable. Same with gas, and clothes, and houses, and cars, and toothbrushes, and watches, and all of the things.
So you’ve spent your entire paycheck on something the size of your palm. It’s fun! It’s new! It’s the envy of your friends, co-workers, sidewalk strangers – everyone! Until it’s not. There’s always the one day where you go to power on a device and get the infinite loading screen of death. A stalled progress bar. A spinner stuck in time. A loading bar that never starts loading. A percentage that would fail every test, regardless of the curve. You know what I’m talking about.
Few things bring greater frustration than broken technology. Why is that? My guess: we need working technology to find a solution for our current problem. But if the solution magician is also asleep at the wheel, how are we ever supposed to move forward? Stuck in a black hole of questions and no answers. A lot like English exams. What answer are you looking for?! An opinion is not an accurate way to assess my knowledge of a book! Everyone is different and my current opinion is best left in my head.
Anyways … despite my raging passion against standardized English testing, technology is the same puzzle. And so we travel down the path and start walking through the 5 stages of grief with our currently most hated possession. Starting, of course, with grief. Grief for not being able to get it working. For never knowing if you’ll see the login screen ever again. A genuine sadness that it doesn’t work all the time. Like the price tag indicated.
We quickly move on into the angst portion of our journey thinking about all the potentially lost data if our technology does not magically come back online. When was the last time you ran a backup? Do you even know people’s phone numbers? How are you supposed to contact someone to send help? Will we ever see those unopened messages again? Once we’ve accepted our sadness, fears, and anxieties around our current situation we move to confusion.
Confusion around how to even begin fixing this. Who knows how to fix these things? Do you have to physically go to a store? Wait in line and hope you can explain the problem enough for someone to fix it. General confusion on how it works to begin with. Literally think about that for just a second. How do these things do all of the things they do? I have no idea. But that is a short rest area on our way to anger. Why? Simply why must things be like this?
You want answers. I want answers. Everybody wants answers, but the place with the answers is currently closed. So where does that leave us? About to throw something at a wall probably. And you can see how we easily get to tears. Throwing is never the ideal solution. Brute force, after all, usually makes it much worse. But at the end of the day, hole in the wall or not, we are frustrated to the point of literal, or metaphorical, tears.
Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!
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