Some in my family would call me a tech enthusiast… a label I accept open-armed. Geek and nerd are names that have been tossed my way, and I’m pretty content being called any of these because, lets face it, they’re pretty darn accurate. Being called upon by various family members and friends to answer tech questions, advise on purchases and troubleshoot annoying computer problems are just a regular task for me these days. While I know some people in the tech community loathe calls that go something like, “Hey Sig, how are you? Do you have a minute to answer…?”, I actually rather enjoy them.
I know some people are thinking I’m crazy for saying this. Who actually enjoys doing tech support, and for free!? I decided a while back to happily accept any “Call For Help” (sorry TechTV, I had to steal that title) because it is a great communications medium. We all like to feel needed and useful from time to time (I’m not sure why this is, but I’ll leave that to the psychologists to answer). When receiving a call from aunts, uncles, sisters, parents, cousins or friends, I not only get to find out what tech my family and friends are into in terms of technology, but what makes them tick when using it. When hearing stuff like “this stupid printer…”, “I really NEED a new phone, this thing just…”, and “who the hell designed this thing” I tend to chuckle a little bit and procede with the best advice I can give to fix whatever ailment is plaguing the particular item at hand. I also, however, get to find out what my cousins are doing half-way around the U.S. (and world!), how wedding plans are progressing, or the latest news with whomever decided to ring me up that particular day.
In addition to tech support, I also love calls about potential technology purchases. Whether it’s a question of upgrading to the latest version of Windows, ditching the desktop and getting a laptop, or finding out whether it’s useful to get a netbook or not I tend to get great investing advice. That’s right… It’s all about the money! I’ll admit, I was the first one in my family (I think) to get the 1st generation iPhone, and had I had the cash to dump some spare change into Apple at the time, I probably would have made a quick buck. If I realized that netbooks were gonna be popular with some in the famliy, I would have probably dunked some money into a computer manufacturer like Acer or ARM, a popular processor-maker for phones, netbooks, and other devices that, in some cases, we don’t even realize have a “processor.”
Well, in short, I guess I’m trying to say that answering a few tech questions every now and again keeps me connected with a bunch of different family members at odd intervals. It’s pretty easy to rely on Windows going berzerk, or a printer wigging out, and it’s these connundrums that enable me to reconnect, albeit breifly, with all sorts of family and friends that I may only hear from on select occasions throughout the year. If I also get some investing advice on tech stocks or cool new products myself, all the better.