Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Technophobes

"Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons."
- R. Buckminster Fuller


So today I lost a lot of time doing errands for some folks. It's a pity, since I would have preferred to just stay at home and avoid this country's fucked up weather.

I do not understand the natural wariness that many Filipinos have against anything that has to do with technology. This is especially prevalent in older generations, especially when in comes in the form of electronic banking.

I do not understand why I have to do something manually when there is already a system in place that allows me to do the same thing while at home, in relative safety and in less time than the "traditional" way. There is a reason why financial institutions go out of their way to promote electronic banking, set up service centers and provide customer service hotlines at no visible cost.

Whenever I ask, the two biggest reasons I get are either "the system might get it wrong" or "it's too difficult to understand the system." For the former, I'd just like to say there's a reason why quality assurance is part of software development - so that brand-damaging errors do not happen. Companies tend to invest a substantial amount on building and maintaining their reputations, and that's something they would protect aggressively. For the latter, that's just good old-fashioned laziness. Is ignorance actually a preferable choice nowadays? People don't realize the time they'd save if they spent a few minutes reading instructions that have already been dumbed down for the target audience. Developers tend to spend a lot of time making systems as idiot-proof as possible, so please don't let their effort go to waste.

Why do people embrace inefficiency? People complain a lot about not having enough time, money or other resources. The problem with that is they whine first and seek solutions later. It doesn't take much time to actually inquire about value adding services a business offers and it completely eliminates the need for incessant ranting about problems that don't exist.

When in doubt, Google it. Chances are the solutions already exist.

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