It’s annoying to be faced with something that gives opportunity to NOT be cynical, but it’s not easy I tell ya. There you are working on an essay, doing research, saving photos, when bam, the screen goes blue, and a friendly message reads: ‘We are retrieving important information and your computer must be shut down. This will only take a minute.’
Yeah right. You are retrieving what? Like an uninvited storm, it comes upon you, and you must be patient till it passes. Cynical is not strong enough. No keys work, you are frozen against your will, and that goofy smiling face is meant to annoy you further, while you wonder who ‘we’ is….
Granted, certain operating systems have their marching orders for keeping up with the Joneses, and are yoked with computer outfits, and of course this is at your expense, but c’mon. The ‘minute’ usually takes an hour, and the frustration level increases sixtyfold.
But the worst example and a good reason to being cynical is when you go to shut down, and the message reads: ‘update and restart,’ or ‘update and shut down.’ How about ‘neither?’ How about ‘shut off and go away?’ How about borrowing John McInroes: ‘are you kidding me?’
What is this update? Yeah yeah, it is for the ‘welfare’ of the user, so your experience will continue to be spectacular. Cough here. Why do I think files are being copied, information collected, stored, traded, sold, and these ‘updates’ are merely courtesies to let us know we have no say.
Update and restart? Update and shut down? How about being honest and including this:
‘This will take a minute. Two minutes. Five minutes. An hour. A day. A week. A month.’ Yeah, for invariably you could go to a ball game or complete a hundred other things and still have no clue as to how long the geniuses ‘need’ to update your computer.
If you have a laptop, the way around this is to instantly remove your battery, then restart. This works, but delays the inevitable, and maybe ticks off some geek who gets your ‘message’ that you are fighting against him.
This could go further south if he (or she, thank you) decides to play computer hard ball, and throw your computer out of whack by more annoying stuff like automatic voice ads, deleted files, or a host of other things that would frustrate the mild-mannered Clark Kent or Norman Rockwell.
Yes, these people can create instant tornadoes for ya, or lasting hurricanes of havoc, losing files and moving data, so be careful who you tick off. Thankfully, we could complain to each other, and ‘they’ would never notice.
The computer, and of course most electronics, have made us dependent, and like a drug we have no say but to allow the fix of others. Shut down or restart, and you must choose. Choose now, and you can’t even choose wisely. The conditioning is subtle to some, unnoticed by others, denied by many more, but pick one!
Maybe Apple has it right, their computer and OS is so good, they do not need to mess with trickery, and they can justify their high-priced products to protect your privacy. They have perfected the firewall, but then again, maybe they are just shrewd at cloaking the updates. Users, abusers and used oh my. 😉
Yeah, I know, it’s really nothing nefarious, money is not involved, updates are really for your own good, the motives are pure, cookies are not studied, there is nothing amiss with utility companies or price hikes, but compared to dial-up, it’s a brave new world…………..hey wait a sec.