One of the greatest indignities in today’s high-tech world is having your kids grab that shiny new smartphone or whatever new gadget it happens to be, out of your hands and set it up in less than 30 seconds with a grin of superiority. To maintain at least the illusion that you know all, there are ways to avoid having your kids teach you how to use your latest gadget by getting the gadget help you need while still hanging on to your pride. Here are five ways to accomplish that goal:
1. Do Your Homework
Homework isn’t just for the young, especially when it comes to things tech-related. Before you go to the store or add that amazing new gadget to your cart, take some time to do some research. Just type the name of the gadget in the search box and you should be able to find reviews and other details to help you figure out what all it does and how to use it. Your pre-gadget purchase homework can include:
- Forums – There are plenty of “tech for dummies” forums online. Sneak on after your kids are in bed or while they’re at school and you’ll probably find some useful advice. Just remember to check the date of some posts in forums. Since everything posted online lingers forever, you may find tips for older models not relevant to the new gadget or updated model you’re thinking of purchasing.
- Manufacturer’s Website – Most manufacturers want customers to actually know how to use their products. Most sites have a section to answer frequently asked questions. Some sites offer a live chat option where you can ask plenty of questions without worrying about trying to impress the chat help guide.
- Review Sites – Look up some of the reviews for your device. Go ahead and post a question or engage in a chat with other members currently online to get some help. Most tech-savvy people are more than willing to share their wisdom. Once you get your new device, post a review out of courtesy if all goes well when you actually purchase it.
2. Look for Instructional Videos
People post a lot of online videos related to various gadgets, including many showing how a device is used and what it can do and how to get it do what it’s supposed to do. It often helps to see someone actually using a product. You can easily stop the video at various points or play it back as many times as necessary until you fully get it; and nobody has to know but you.
3. Read the Instructions Carefully
Sometimes the answers to your questions are right in front of you. Take some time to read through the instruction book you get with your device. You’ll probably get at least a general idea of how your new gadget works. You should find a link to a website or a toll-free number to call for further assistance.
4. Buy It In Person
There are some advantages to actually making the trip to the store to buy your desired new gadget in person. When you make your purchase in person, you can usually find someone willing to answer your questions and even show you how to use it. Since this person isn’t likely to know more than our first name at the very least, it’s alright to go ahead and ask the questions you’d be embarrassed to ask your kids. These employees have heard pretty much every tech-related question known to man, so don’t be afraid to stick around until you have a full grasp of how everything works.
5. Go to a Tech-based Store for Assistance
Stores like Best Buy offer personal assistance for just about every type of gadget, from devices purchased at Best Buy to new additions to your home computer or laptop. They’ll even install WiFi and other cool tech touches to your home. Just schedule your appointment when your kids are in school and they’ll be none the wiser. Similar tech stores also offer various customer service options either for free if you purchase your gadget there or for a reasonable fee for purchases you make elsewhere.
Cassandra Rolland is a gadget enthusiast who is always looking for gadget news from Gadget Gnome so she does not miss a beat!
Photo Credit: jazza