Love/Hate Relationships with Computers
On the optimistic side, I like to think a useful lesson can be learned from these experiences. This week led me to speculate about how there are at least three types of love/hate relationships with computers:
1. Love to use them; hate to fix them: I imagine many people fall into this category. They love using computers to write, gather and organize information, shop, do video and digital photography, communicate online, etc. However, they don't want to have to fix them when something goes wrong. They get annoyed, frustrated, or even very upset when faced with a software or hardware problem. An analogy might be people who love driving and car trips, but don't want to be bothered by car mechanics or fixing a breakdown. Some people in this category might actually know something about computer technology and possess some skills in fixing a problem. They just don't like doing it.
2. Love to use and fix them: This is a fortuitous and probably somewhat unusual combination. These people often possess an intrinsic interest in computer technology. At one end of this category are people who use the computer for specific productive purposes, as well as tackle breakdowns with energetic motivation and even delight. At the other end are people whose primary focus is exploring and fiddling with the technology itself. While they may use the computer to accomplish some tasks, those tasks might actually be a means to an end - the "end" being the delight in playing with computer technology.
3. Hate them, period. These people want nothing to do with computers. Their hate might be a cover up for ignorance and fear. They may not understand computers. They may believe they are not up to the challenge of using them. In Luddite fashion, they may believe computers are creating more problems for society than they solve. I suspect this group is dwindling rather quickly. A decade from now, only rebels, eccentrics, outcasts, and perhaps a few bonafide visionaries might find themselves in this group.