The Six Stages of Tech Failure & Loss

Despite being a fairly tech-savvy person, I seem to have bad luck with computers and technology. I read an article that said about 80 percent of hard drives make it to or past four years before dying. Well, I’m guess I’m just really good at picking bad computers because the hard drive in my last computer crashed after about three years and the MacBook I got for Christmas in 2013 seems to have just crashed – of course just a few months from the end of the warranty. The frustration level is up to HERE.

I know technology is nothing to stress over. No use crying over broken tech, right? It’s a just a material object and there are so many things in life that are more important. However, ever since I was a youngster IMing all my BFFs to say ~*~*LYLAS*~*~ and putting up away messages with super cool song lyrics, I freak out when technology doesn’t go my way. I’ve noticed every time technology fails me or I can’t seem to figure something out with my tech, I go through a series of emotions that you might call the Six Stages of Tech Grief.

1. Denial. My computer froze. I’ll give it a second. (3 minutes later) I’ll  give it another minute. Oh, I must’ve had one too many tabs open. Let me just force turn it off and turn it back on. Yea, that will definitely do it. It’s not very old and everyone says Macs are so reliable so there’s no way it could be totally broken.

2. Unrelenting research. Crap. It won’t turn back on. Using my phone, iPad, or even resorting to my husband’s old laptop from college which we’ve saved just for situations like this, I Google the heck out of whatever issue my technology is facing. Luckily, I almost always learn that the problems I am facing with tech, others have faced and overcome. This too shall pass! I can fix this. Hallelujah!

3. Begging & Despair  (or, seeking assistance). I researched and was not able to solve. For a second I feel like THE WORLD IS ENDING NOW. All hope is lost. Rather than give up, I turn to begging. I start asking any tech-savvy friends or family members about my tech problem and possibly even taking it to a shop for help (in my most recent case, the Apple store). PLEASE OH PLEASE just help me save my files, Dad/Friend/Cousin/Genius/Anyone who knows anything! (You would think that after having one hard drive crash on me I would learn to be better about backing up my information. Second time’s a charm?)

4. Anger. When the “Genius” can’t immediately fix it either, and I realize I am going to have to pay money to possibly not even resolve the issue on a computer that is only about three months out of warranty, this causes anger. Serious anger. I want to cry and break things at the same time as if that would somehow fix faulty technology. Note: Breaking things never helps the actual problem (even if it makes you feel better.) Hey, technology grief is almost never logical. SO MANY BAD FEELS RIGHT NOW.

5. Complaining on social media, texting and/or voicing frustration to anyone who will listen. Posting on Facebook is a must. Texting my best friends and airing my grievances also has to be done. I need that reassurance that I am not a lunatic for being so angry about my technology not working! When you’re facing a tech crisis: A good friend will tell you everything is going to be OK; a best friend will join you in cursing the name of the company that made your computer and, in effect, caused you this technology pain!

6. Acceptance. After many deep breaths, and plenty of complaining to others, you start to get over it. It’s just technology, no one’s out to get you, and your hard drive crash does not mean God hates you. Maybe God’s trying to teach you a lesson, but God doesn’t hate you. Right…? Right. It just means it’s technology. As one of my J-school profs used to always say, technology will always fail you when you need it most. That’s just life in today’s society, a modern take on Murphy’s Law.

All exaggerating aside, I know there must be others out there who have gone through similar stages of technology grief and loss. Comment below and tell me what steps I’m missing!

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Technology increasingly impacts the classroom

Education has always been important to me; it is essentially what has allowed me to be where I am today. Throughout my own educational career, technology has changed almost every aspect of our lives, including the way we learn.

I remember the first time I heard about the “World Wide Web” back in elementary school. I think I was in third grade. I can’t remember the rest of the sentence she said, but I very distinctly remember my computer teacher saying “World Wide Web.” It sounded so funny to me, and I didn’t like it because I didn’t like spiders. I couldn’t comprehend what this meant. Was there a web out there somewhere? Little did I know this short phrase would change our lives so dramatically! But I digress.

Today at all educational levels, technology makes it easier to explain and take in new information. Rather than list facts myself, here is a wonderful graphic that cites some of the statistics surrounding technology and education.

If you’re a teacher, how do you use technology in the classroom? If you’re a student, how does your teacher use it? Or how do you wish your teacher used it?

 What do we Know Infographic

 

Infographic courtesy of http://www.onlineuniversities.com

KONG, iPet Companion bring new technology to shelter pets

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One of the neatest parts of my job is being able to keep up on the pet industry, which can obviously be fun at times. But who knew keeping up on the pet industry could also help me learn a bit about some new technology as well? That happened when I came across an article about an online app that allows you to virtually “play” with shelter cats.

Basically, a toy is set up in the shelter and is somehow connected to the buttons on the website. When a user (such as myself) goes to that page, I can see the cats in the play area sleeping, eating or doing whatever. I can choose to press and hold one of three buttons by clicking my mouse, and each button makes a different toy spin, swirl or shake. Sometimes, the cats are too busy napping or keeping to themselves. But a few times, the moving of the toy piques a cat’s curiosity, and he or she comes to check out the commotion.

Besides being entertaining for the human user from afar, this technology has done great things for the six shelters involved in the “testing” phase, according to ipetcompanion.com. For example, iPet Companion’s website says:

After just a few weeks of installing iPet Companion, Oregon Humane Society saw the following response:

  • 18% increase in kitten adoptions
  • 295% increase in sponsorships
  • 52% sustained increase in overall web traffic

That is wonderful! While I believe it is still in the beginning phases, it is great to know that people from potentially all over the world can help shelters and the cats in them just by taking two minutes from their day to click a few buttons. I can only imagine how busy shelter volunteers are, and so genuine play time for each cat must be tough to come by. But having the general public be able to virtually play is genius, because all parties receive satisfaction.

This has huge implications for many in the pet industry, besides just in life. We often (unfortunately) have to leave me cat home alone for a night or so and I always feel bad doing it. She must get so lonely! While it is not the same thing as the physical presence of being there, using a tool like this would at least at allow my fiance and I to interact with our cat while we’re gone. We’d get to “socialize” with her momentarily while also helping her get a bit more exercise.

I encourage you to try out the app and share your thoughts. Who can think of any other ways this type of technology could be used?

A Forward-Thinking Social Media History Lesson

The basic concept of social media is nothing new. We humans literally live for the interactions we have with each other.

However, what makes social media so exciting is how it allows people to keep in contact with so many others in so little time, comparatively. Yes, maintaining social media does take lots and lots of time. But think about how much time it would have taken before then? Think about how challenging it was to keep up with family members and friends and customers and business partners before the internet, let alone social media.

The social media technology advances soared exponentially throughout the year. To prove it, I wanted to show an intriguing infographic from OnlineSchools.org. (Note: I originally found this infographic on Mashable.)

The power of human intellect and technological ability to grow so exponentially really just baffles my mind. Now more than ever, we truly live in a constantly moving and changing world. So exciting! What do you find most exciting about today’s new communication technologies, specifically social media tools?