If you’re like me, you’ve been plagued with computer problems your whole life– just not yours.
I bought my parents a Mac Mini a few years back. It was a stop-loss mechanism to help me spend more time with them. It worked. Now I hang out and have supper instead of fixing their computer problems– everybody’s happy.
When it comes to computers, there are two kinds of people in the world: Those that try, and those that read the manual.
If you experiment, that means that when you’re in a new program, trying to save a document or something, you click around: “Let’s see, how about ‘Edit’? Nope… maybe ‘File’? Ah, there it is! Save.” Then you save the document. See, it took a while, but you figured it out.
If you read the manual, it’s the opposite. You don’t know how to do something and you kind of freeze, call somebody for tech support, or you might reach for the manual. If this happens enough, the manual might even be dog-eared from use, who knows.
With cooking, I read the manual. But I think I’m slowly starting to become the first type. I recently began buying random food from the market and trying it out– different cuts of meat, veggies I usually never eat, etc. It works out great and I feel kind of empowered about it.
That’s the thing– the first type empowers you to learn for yourself, while the second leaves you dependent on outside resources. You tend to read the manual when you’re a beginner, but the trick is to remember to force yourself to experiment, instead of just becoming a cookbook expert.
I think that, back in the day with computers (and before the web), we were forced to learn through experimentation. Now, computers are simpler, so many people never get that way with their machines. They depend on Google for answers but may never truly learn for themselves.
I’m wondering if this is making us more compliant in general– what do you think?