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  • jzb 3:15 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, Gmail, , Mac, Mac OS X, Windows   

    A Response I’d Never Like to Hear or See Again: “Just Don’t Use X” 

    Well, Actually TrollcatLet me say this up-front. I’m guilty of this myself. I’ll own it, I’ve said variations of this about plenty of technologies or services.

    Someone complains about a mobile OS, “oh, don’t use that. Use [insert speaker’s favorite mobile OS here].” Someone complains about Windows/Mac/Linux, “simple, just use [Windows|Mac|Linux] and your problem goes away.”

    Someone complains about a problem with Facebook, Gmail, Google+, Twitter, etc. “Oh, just don’t use it. Simple.”

    You get the idea.

    The speaker may be the best kind of correct, technically correct, but they risk invoking the “fail mode of clever” which is (as John Scalzi so eloquently put it) “asshole.”

    You may think your absolutist, well-thought-out, well-reasoned manifesto against $thing is convincing. It may even be convincing to anyone willing to 1) take the several hours it takes to hear the diatribe, and 2) trade off the benefits or perceived benefits of their choice to embrace the alternative. (This is assuming you offer an alternative. Many folks like to bash things and then not even up an alternative, which isn’t a winning strategy. Yes, I’m looking at the whole “Defective by Design” campaign when I say this.)

    It’s totally OK for you to refuse to use a service, operating system, program, or whatever. More power to you. Just don’t assume that your choices are applicable to others.

    People use Facebook for complicated reasons, and often actually are aware how annoying the service is and how shitty it is that Facebook continually tweaks privacy options/settings and the flow of posts, etc. People use Windows for complicated reasons that depend a lot on their level of comfort with computers, applications they need, etc.

    “Just don’t use X,” is not a constructive comment. That’s not to say offering an alternative is bad or wrong, if done reasonably. But “just don’t use X” is pretty much a non-starter.

    And don’t even get me started on the folks who recommend telling others when they encounter problems with X “simple, just tell them not to use X and to use a better service/technology.” Yes, because what will win users/customers is to reply to their issues with an invitation to make changes on their end that will be perceived as disruptive. Way to go champ, pick up your prize for customer service at the front desk.

    You can advocate for better options, but leading with “just don’t use X” as an absolutist statement pretty much guarantees you’re going to be ignored and annoy the other person or people. Take a stab at being empathetic with others and realize that your set of choices and values may not apply well to their situation.

     
    • Máirín Duffy 6:14 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      But Gmail really does suck!

      trollololol 😉

      • jzb 6:41 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        That it does. That it does. 🙂

    • Dave Lindberg 6:23 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I agree totally that…

      “Take a stab at being empathetic with others and realize that your set of choices and values may not apply well to their situation.”

    • Andrew Daly 12:52 pm on November 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I came here expecting your views about the display manager X. I wondered what you were going to promote as an alternative. I think I like this article better. (rather than the one I was expecting).

      (I love gmail)

      • jzb 8:09 pm on November 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        You know, that should have occurred to me. 🙂

    • neuseriversailor 9:26 pm on December 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t disagree with you but I do wonder why people using software that they know sucks spend time complaining about it:

      “People use Facebook for complicated reasons, and often actually are aware how annoying the service is and how shitty it is that Facebook continually tweaks privacy options/settings and the flow of posts, etc. ”

      So if they are aware how annoying and shitty the service is, and they still use it anyway, isn’t it just as irritating and pointless for them to bitch about it as it is for someone to respond “just use x”?

      • jzb 3:52 pm on January 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        “So if they are aware how annoying and shitty the service is, and they still use it anyway, isn’t it just as irritating and pointless for them to bitch about it as it is for someone to respond “just use x”?”

        No. Next question?

  • jzb 2:45 pm on October 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook, Google+, , Twitter   

    A Quick Tip/Request on Social Media 

    Fail Whale One of the things I use social media for is to put the word out about projects that I work with/on and to draw attention to events or things that might be of interest.

    Likewise, a lot of my friends are in a similar position. Whenever I peek into Twitter, Google+, or Facebook, I try to re-share/amplify things that my friends post that might be of interest to people who follow me or are connected to me on social media. This used to be sort of de rigueur for social media, but I’ve noticed that the practice has fallen way off.

    Assuming your friends are posting things that might be of interest, you might consider boosting their signal a little and help to spread the word. I generally try to RT or promote other people’s events, posts/articles, and so forth at least as much as my own. And if I notice someone being kind to me on social media, I try to return the favor. (Note, this is not a request that everyone all become retweetbots or anything — just asking for folks to take a second and help promote other folks’ stuff as much as they pimp their own.)

    The nice thing is that you have a chance to be exposed to things outside your own network, and I’ve run into a lot of interesting things, articles, and people that way.

    Thoughts, comments, flames?

     
    • Helen 10:21 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting thought, Joe. I still see a lot of retweets on some topics. I think one problem that I’m finding with social media – particularly Twitter – is that my areas of interest are quite broad, so I worry about spamming friends with stuff they aren’t interested in. I guess I also assume that people with similar interests have probably seen it already, too.

      • jzb 10:11 am on November 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        My friends are pretty all-over-the-place as well. I pick and choose by what might be of interest to a non-zero number of friends and also on a pay-it-forward basis.

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