Tech Support Top 10

15 May

When you spend a major portion of your life working in digital marketing and information technology, you tend to wind up being the local expert on all things computer related. The irony of which is that you wind up generally hating goddamned computers. I enjoy using computers and technology – comes with being a serial early-adopter, but I do have to say at some points, I think I want to just skip them all across a pond and move to an island and never seen another one as long as I live. As usual, because of my helpful nature, I have managed to cast myself as being tech support for my family and for a lot of friends. I’m generally able to diagnose networking issues, sort out misbehaving iPhones/iPads, etc.,help out buggy email, eradicate viruses, rebuild computers and I’ve even built a number of “frankenDell” computers for the family out of obsoleted Dells that were castoffs from Robin’s family. So, I’m pretty good at this. But it doesn’t mean I enjoy it.

Additionally, because I am, A) a social media addict; and B) work in the digital marketing realm where online search, social media and other online experiences are the stock in trade of what we do, I’ve become an expert in those arenas as well, both from a user perspective and from a business perspective, so plenty of people seek my advice there as well. As you can imagine, I don’t mind talking about this area – although while many of the principles that big brands use to achieve dominance in online marketing DO translate to local business, the scale at which big brands do this also enables their tremendous results – therefore, it frequently boggles the mind of a small businessman who is for example, struggling to get search ranking on his site, to find out that a company like a major brand spends multiple millions of dollars per year on just search engine optimization.

On the tech support side, by and large the questions relate to internet connectivity – why can’t I get online, why does my internet connection seem so slow, how come my emails aren’t coming through, etc. etc. From an internet perspective, the questions generally run to how things work – how does Google decide which item to rank up first, how come Facebook changed to timeline, why, when I talk about something on Facebook, an ad pops up that seems to mirror that topic, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind helping out – in fact, for the most part, I enjoy it, unless I’m trying to undo a problem that was self-inflicted, like some horrifying piece of spyware that a family member got by clicking on something that they shouldn’t have clicked on.

One interesting thing about working in the tech business for all these past years is the number of silly acronyms that we seem to have regarding users of computers or products. “RTFM” is an admonition to someone that should consider perusing the product documentation. “PEBCAK” is an acronym that is used to classify a problem that seems to be rooted in user error. It stands for Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard. And of course the old fave: IIOHOINHAA. Actually, I’m pulling your leg – that’s not really an acronym. But it certainly represents a bit of advice I’ve given numerous times over the years when asked a question about “why did it do that??” In fact, it’s my first answer below.

So therefore, in no particular order are more or less the ten most frequent answers that I give when someone asks for help with a computer or internet question. Note that a few of them are questions to answer the question. You can supply your own questions:

  1. If it only happened once, it never happened at all.
  2. Just type that into Google. It will give you your answer.
  3. You can buy that on Amazon.
  4. You have to understand that the monetized product on Facebook isn’t the thing you interact with but instead is you – you’re Facebook’s product that they make money on.
  5. Just because you read about it on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true.
  6. Sounds like your web connection is down.
  7. Because Google has all the answers to everything, that’s why.
  8. That’s not good. I can fix it, but we’re talking serious bottles of scotch to get it done.
  9. Restart your computer.
  10. It’s FM Technology. And Science!

Happy computing!

As you were,

Stew

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One Response to “Tech Support Top 10”

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