Saturday, February 11, 2006

How Not to Help

I have found the digital camera - now I just need to figure out how to use it!

Contrary to how it must seem over the blog, I'm not actually a technical idiot. In other times and other places I'm actually quite apt with most technology. However, over the last few years I've begun slipping further and further behind the curve, until I don't know how to do a lot of things that I know are quite common, and probably not difficult.

I blame my husband.

Well, OK, not entirely directly. It's not like he tries to keep me from learning this stuff. It's indirect and, I'm quite certain, unintentional. But it's mostly his fault anyway.

First there's the reproduction thing. Eight years ago I actually was in charge of a database, creatintg, updating, etc., etc. Not exactly a job for the technologically challenged - and I wasn't. I did my job damn well, far better than my employer had any right to expect, truth be told. Then we had a kid. And then we had another kid. Suddenly the first requirement for figuring out a new bit of technology (a little peace and quiet time with the item), was out the window. What little uninterrupted quiet time I had was devoted to more important things than learning new technology - like basic hygeine. My computer time plummeted, my desire to put time and mental energy into learning new things also plummeted. At least new things that could be easily destroyed by a small child. I did start learning Latin, but Latin isn't going to go up in smoke because my child just peed on it.

Second, there's the helpful thing. This is possibly the more insidious part. You see, before we had kids, if I had to learn to use a new program, or operate a new digital camera, or anything of the sort, my husband might make a helpful comment or two, but he pretty much left me to figure it out. After all, it didn't cost him anything but listening to my muttering or an occassional swear word while I got things straight. Post-child, he tends to be more helpful. I.e., if I need something done, he will tend to do it for me, rather than give me a hint or two and let me figure it out. He means it to be helpful and save me time, but it ends up leaving me ignorant of things I really should know. Partially I think the new behavior is altruistic, but suspicious old me also suspects that letting me figure things out by myself now costs him something (he has to keep the kids out of my hair), and he'd rather I watched the boys while he did the more interesting bits.

Which brings us back to the digital camera. I really need to figure this thing out. S doesn't remember where he left the directions, so that's out. I can make it disgorge already taken photos, but I can't seem to find the right mode to let it take new ones - yet. I'll get there. But I don't dare go ask S for a hint, because sure as shootin' he'll take the pictures I need, and leave me as ignorant as ever as to how the dang thing works. And I hate being ignorant.

1 comment:

Becky said...

I'm a firm believer that if you point people in the right direction, then let them figure out stuff on their own, they learn it a lot better than if you just do it for them. Makes my trainees on the job so mad though, because they don't want to really learn the machines. They just want to memorize in which order they should push the buttons. My thoughts go with you on this one.