Monday, 1 September 2014


It’s the start of the new academic year. 
It's a time for change. 

September is the month when lots of teenagers in the UK move on, leaving home for college or gap years or other adventures.

The growing-up may have felt, at times, like very long years, so rejoice now that change has arrived at last

Rejoice, for a moment, in what you’re losing.   All those late arrivals and sudden slam-door exits, the too-much too-loud music or grunts-plus-earphones; the washing machine full of dirty clothes; the presence of unknown bodies sleeping on living room floors and sofas; the big screens and small screens constantly flickering with fascinating stuff, and more.

Aha! Soon you’ll be nostalgic for bathrooms stacked with more grooming products than can be daubed on one person in a lifetime, Even so, it will also feel very good to reclaim some of the space that you knew was once there. 

However, before it’s too late, be aware of what you will be losing too. Especially  if you’re a freelance loner working from home. The person who is probably your most valuable technical resource is leaving. Not only will all that precious and vital energy disappear - and no, I'm not joking! - but so will all their random knowledge, skills and fluency with all things technical. 

From the moment that door closes, you will be relying on your own knowledge - and how does that stand up right now, all by itself? 

I have no precious teen tech around right now. I have no handy geek or wizard who can help me with the latest social media trends, no person who can explain how to do the things I want to do, or the thing I don't know I should know about.

I don’t sit there bleating (even if this post may seem so.)
I ask, I enquire, I go to the on-line videos and follow the simple steps. I google for answers, try things out and solve problems.  

But, but, but . . . so often I find a gap where an essential bit of information should be.

Yes, the screen can show me “this” but what about the “that” that goes with it? The missing link that takes such hours to discover, the reason behind x or y? I 'd really like to borrow a socialised techno-wise human being for a week or three, please. Aaagh!

Maybe you are lucky? Maybe you are young yourself or you work outside home and have easy access, not only to training but to the casual wisdom of facts being passed on and gadgets explained.

If not, be warned.
If you work at your writing at home, alone, from now on you’ll be battling with new media and new work at the same time, and there's not many hours to go round.  

Be nice to your nerds while you’ve got them. Today is the first of September. You’ve got about two weeks to download all they know.

Penny Dolan


Sue Purkiss said...

I never had a family IT expert - but my daughter married one - so thoughtful of her!

Nick Green said...

"If your internet connection is down, you can find assistance at our website at www.pointlesswasteoftime."

Penny Dolan said...

Congratulations on having a sensible daughter and hope they live near. IT can take such hours and it's horrid to waste rare family hours staring at a screen - especially when that's what such people do for work too.

I must add that I live with an IT expert - who is totally brilliant at keeping computers going and makings sure that all work is backed up safely and all the "machine" side of things. Hooray! However, all the social aspects of technology just doesn't interest him.

Hi Nick! Well, what's wrong with that suggestion? :-) Customer dis-service!

Richard said...

When they come back, they will be so much more tractable. But in the meantime, don't expect that dirty laundry to have gone away. It may be more infrequent, but the batch sizes are just larger.

If anyone needs any truly technical assistance, then I accept payment in author-type inducements -- seeing my name in print etc. ;-) On the other hand, if it's a social network type of question, I am probably more in the dark than you are.

DavidKThorpe said...

Social media Qs, ask away.