“What do I do with this thing?” Learning to love a new tech

“What do I do with this thing?” Learning to love a new tech

I grew up loving a really old school technology…paper books. 😉

It’s not easy to switch to a new tech. It would be if they just, you know, worked, but that’s never been the case.

Even when I got the first generation of the Kindle, it took me a whole book before I got used to it and fell in love. 🙂

I was skeptical about the concept of e-books…like many people at the time, I confused the container (the p-book) with the book itself (the words, and how they are presented). That doesn’t mean that p-books don’t have intrinsic value, but that is separate from the book.

Recently, you may have gotten a new technology. The big one for this year for many people will be Alexa devices, especially the Echo family:

This is really a new class of tech, and it’s just beginning, so it’s unclear to people. That was very clear to me when I was with family, and a quite technically literate relative who had been living with Alexa for some time was excited about Google Home because you could just ask it questions, “…like a Google search”. I explained that you could do the same sort of thing (it’s not really a web search, but it function in the way that was being postulated) with Alexa. This relative had had no idea.

Alexa in that house is mostly for home automation…turning lights on and off and such, and I’m guessing for music.

That tends to be true for most people with technology: you find out what something does in a satisfactory way for you, and then you just have it do that…you don’t explore other options if it’s a practical use device.

I think of myself primarily as a trainer at work, but I also do “performance improvement”.

I’m amused by some of the approaches in that field.

One is to find the peak performers, and then propagate to other people the peak performer’s techniques…as if there was one best answer, and that person had discovered it.

When it comes to practical use technology (not being employed in a technology-focused field), that’s not how it works at all. I try to explain to them that if you come back to those peak performers in three months, they’ll be doing it differently. They like novelty: they are always looking for new ways to do things, even when what they already know is satisfactory.

I work in the medical field. Most clinicians don’t want to think about the technology they use…they want it to be like the soundtrack in a movie. Most of the time, you don’t even realize it’s there…although you might have some moments when it seems great!

Those folks? They don’t want novelty in their tech…but once they get used to a new technology, they love it.

Part of using a new technology, then, is keeping your expectations low…let it succeed in increments. I also work on “wellness” at work, and I often tell people: “Keep you goals small and your dreams big.” 🙂 Don’t expect to master everything about a technology at once. With an e-book reader, I had to just read a book…not expect to do everything with it at once.

Also, don’t expect a new tech to completely replicate an old tech. There will be things it can’t do. After all, if it replicated it exactly, it would be the same…and you wouldn’t need it. 😉 There are advantages and disadvantages to pretty much everything

An EBR (E-Book Reader) doesn’t do everything a p-book does…and vice versa.

However, you do need to be able to get it to the point where you are interacting with it…and that’s where some tips can help. I’m going to link to some posts about that for Alexa and for EBRs, but I want to give you another case in point.

I just got my first Virtual Reality (VR) headset for the holidays, the

Samsung Gear VR (at AmazonSmile*)

Now, I’m quite techie…I explain technology for a living. Still, it took me more than a day to really get it to where I was amazed by it. Oh, I had other people trying it, from about age 13 to 90, and they all enjoyed it.

I needed, once I got a chance, to download some games and apps, and to get the hang of using it. I’ll probably write a “first impressions” post this week (in my The Measured Circle blog).

I would definitely have read some “Gear VR 101” materials before I even put it on my head (I did read warnings), but I was just too (wonderfully) busy with family. I checked

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

for a book, but nothing caught my right away.

So, I’m going to link you to a few posts which may be helpful for you.

Here’s something I wrote about Alexa:

“Hello, Echo!” Getting to know Amazon’s Alexa

This is the most popular blog on ILMK (this blog) right now…and it does tend to stay pretty popular:

Got a new Kindle? Here’s the most important thing to know

Here’s a link to the whole “New Owners” category:

New Owners

I’ve also had a couple of readers point me to this

The Washington Post article by Hayley Tsukuyama

It’s called “Did you just open a brand new home hub? Read this first.”

This will all get easier in the future. Amazon is already making part of set-up easier…it can store Wi-Fi passwords for you, so you won’t have to put those in for some new devices.

My phone uses stored information to help me join new websites…filling in my address for me, for example.

Undoubtedly, your phone will begin doing your set-up for you…perhaps with the help with of your Alexa-type device.

Do you have any great stories about getting used to tech? Do you have any tips for people who have gotten their first Kindles, or other tech? Feel free to tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


4 Responses to ““What do I do with this thing?” Learning to love a new tech”

  1. Karen Farmer Says:

    Bufo, I have had Kindles for a long time, way back to the K1. I have a Paperwhite that is a 3G that I have had for a couple of years. I got a new one this week, also a 3G and the screen is more yellow. I sent it back but the new one is the same and customer service has no idea why. Did they change them for some reason? Thanks


  2. Karen Says:

    Thanks for all the numbers. There were no B’s on either of mine so it took a while. It looks like my older 3G is a Paperwhite 2 and the new one is a Paperwhite 3. I guess the screens have changed in color. I like tne brightness of the older one better. Oh well. Thanks.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Karen!

      You may want to play around with the font and the brightness. when you are in a book, tap at the top of the page in the middle of it to access settings.

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