Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Who said technology is supposed to make our lives better? It does, I guess, when it works. Getting it to work is the wrench in the cogs of the machine. Most new devices in the parade of new products that never ends, do have a positive effect on our lives when they act as advertised.  But anytime you hear that all you have to do is plug it in and you're ready to go, it's a lie meant to get you hooked. 

This isn't meant to be a diatribe against all the electronic devices that we've come to depend on. I,m as guilty as anyone when it comes to lusting after the next big thing. I'm writing this on my new iPad while listening to Dylan on my new smart TV that's streaming music from Pandora. But how I got to this point is an example of the "plug it in and go" bogus claim that prevails in the electronic marketplace. 

We recently bought a new TV that the salesman said would practically jump up and hang itself on the wall, plug itself in, start the movie playing, and add extra butter to the popcorn.  We were naive enough to believe him.  Of course the installation process was far more complicated than that because we didn't have all the latest software in our surround sound system or in our cable connection.  See, they don't tell you at the store that you will need to update the software on everything electronic within the four county metro area in order to use your new TV. So what should have been relatively simple took nearly 6 hours of trial and error with cables and wires and connecters until we stumbled on to the right combination of cables and wires and connecters.  

From now on when I have to replace some electronic device, I will know not to believe all the outrageous claims of simplicity that spew from the lying con men who prey on the innocent consumers who only want to buy something that won't take a degree in electrical engineering to hook up, that won't require a platoon of geeks tripping over each other's pocket protectors to find the correct slot that fits the cable that was supposed to be in the bag of cables but is missing for some unknown reason, and eventually works as advertised.  

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