Several weeks ago I asked you to complete a brief survey. The primary question was:
“What’s the biggest challenge you face using technology effectively?”
As always, I was overwhelmed by your response. Thank you for participating.
I want to share with you some of what I learned.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
Top Five Topics
I shared this a couple of weeks ago, but by close to a two-to-one margin over the next most-mentioned topic, change is by far your biggest challenge.
Be it the pace of change, what you perceive as unnecessary change, or just change that you can’t quite get your head around, our fast-paced ever-changing technology represents a common, and significant, challenge.
The lack of traditional documentation with almost any system or software package was a common complaint. Similarly, the relative incomprehensibility of what documentation is available was a close runner up.
I’m very grateful for everyone who commented that Ask Leo! is a source of more clear, understandable information.
It’s ironic in many ways, but while many software and hardware manufacturers are trying to make things simpler, the next most common theme was the complexity of systems and software. Not only the complexity of individual applications and machines, but also the complexity of attempting to get various technologies to work together in some kind of useful way.
Honestly, I expected this to rank higher, but it’s still significant. Security – be it machine security, cloud security, fears of being hacked, or fear of data loss and privacy intrusion, remains a significant concern.
Things break too often. Things that should work together don’t. Updates are scary because they might cause things to stop working. Neither hardware and software are as robust or problem-free as we would like.
Other topics appeared to varying degrees:
- Backing up
- Internet availability and broadband
- Fear: both of breaking things, and the fear of missing out on something
- Time and money
- …and much more.
I asked a couple of demographic questions to get a better idea of exactly who you are. :-)
The results surprised me a little.
60% over 65. You may feel alone, but you are most definitely not. Close to two-thirds of the folks responding to the survey identified as over 65.
I’m honored to be a resource for you.
80% male. This surprised me more, since it feels like I hear more questions from women. Maybe it’s due to the same reason as the stereotype that women are more willing to ask for directions.
What happens next
So, great, I ask these questions …then what?
My hope and plan is to try to target some of the areas of concern. I’m already trying to get my head around “change”, as you may have seen in one of my recent videos. It’s clearly a hot topic.
Some of the responses affirm what I’m trying to do already: provide understandable answers in plain English. It’s not always easy (and by all means, call me on it if I get too geeky), but it seems to be something I can do that people appreciate.
I thank you again for your input. I’ll do my best to honor your responses in what I come up with in the future.
Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.
I'll see you there!