Just show me ... don’t write it


Have written instructions survived?  Whenever I buy anything, I am required to download instructions or manuals as if the digital video age never happened. You can download a video on everything from how to get to the next level of Minecraft, to poaching a peacock, or sticking false eyelashes on your goldfish; so why can’t all instruction manuals be videos? Yes, if I really want to get down to the minutiae of how my MP4 player can change the space time continuum or my mobile phone will connect with the dead, I can read up on the fine print. However, 90% of people (and 100% of normal ones) simply want to know the basics of how their latest toy works. So please, let’s just have a video showing me?  It would certainly make buying the odd sex toy more interesting! Part of the reason I find digital currency so complex is not the theory of having a secure method of payment outside of the clutches of government or banks but the assumption the guy in the street understands how to actually go about the process. It’s Gobbledigook. Double gobbledigook if you tried Das Coin and the electronic WebWallet nonsense via NetLeaders. In an age when FaceTime, Zoom, Skype and Instagram are the communication medium of choice, why am I still asked to download a PDF on how to work a camera! I mean it’s a camera. Visual medium. Which bright spark in marketing thought: “Well, once we have sold this, let’s send a booklet to read that’s a couple of hundred pages long....” Show me how and I might even buy some of the bolt in extras like telephotos etc.

...and another thing

Languages. Again, before you download an instruction manual thicker than a whale omelette, how about a simple button saying in which language? I reckon I have gigabytes of memory taken up with verbiage like the instructions on my expresso machine in Swahili or directions for my electronic shaver written in Inuktitut.  

...and another thing

Of course, all of these rantings are moot if you ever try and use cash to pay for anything without giving an email address. It’s impossible. Refuse to provide it and I have been threatened that it will make my guarantee invalid (not true), they cannot issue an invoice without it (tra-la-la bullsh*t) or most insulting of all…

“Are you so poor that you don’t own an email address”?

Think about it for a minute.

The idea in the years before email was invented that you could not buy anything without handing over your phone number would have been seen as a bigger invasion of privacy than a peephole in the John. Yet now we meekly hand over the keys to our privacy for the price of an electronic toothpick and to download how to operate it in Hungarian Then have to spend hours reading it.

So, if you want to write to me, talk to me first.

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