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Kat and Mouse: The Digital Facts of Life

I am staring at the printer, no, that’s a lie, I’m glaring at the printer. It’s something that I’ve been doing for the past 3 hours and it’s all because I haven’t the faintest idea of how to make it print double-sided.

This has started to become a recurring theme, but not just with me, with everyone living in the digital age and I’m sure that you’ve already figured out where I’m going with this. Electronics, from printers to cell phones to computers, have all become smarter than we are. We all buy the fancy, smancy new gizmo to replace the older, but still functional, electronics that we already have.

We get pulled in by all the ‘New and Improved Features’ that these electronics claim to have added to their already long list of abilities. While most electronic devices really do have all that they claim to, there is one major problem: No matter how many tasks these phones, computers, or printers perform, there is always one utility that you can never make work.

Take for instance my new printer; it can print in color, in black and white, and in photo paper ink. It can fax, scan, and ‘sign’ a document, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why it won’t let me print double-sided. Now I won’t lie and say that the double-sided fiasco isn’t bothering me, it’s become a huge battle on my part. I sit and go through each option on the printer’s super cool, light-up touch screen over and over again trying to find the right button, but to no avail.

This specific electronic device is getting close to being a very battered piece of plastic. It has come to the point where I regret ever buying it, so finally I go to the thing that is the start of all this, the box the printer came in. It was the box that started this whole mess, it was the thing that bragged about the many new features this printer had, it was the thing that convinced me to buy it, and it was the thing that failed to mention that in order to print double-sided you apparently had to stand on your head while rubbing your stomach.

Thus I find that on bottom of the box in those little, barely there letters that there was a disclosure about how in order to print double-sided you had to install the printer’s ‘workshop’ onto your computer. Not even the directions mentioned that.

This whole mess made me think that if I have problems with my electronics then chances are that everybody else does too from time to time. You all are out there right now reading this on a computer screen and I’m sure that, on the very computer that you’re on, you’ve had problems at some point in time. While you may not want to admit it you should know that you’re most definitely not alone.
People all over the world are finding that the electronics we work with everyday are smarter than we are and thus running into the same roadblocks as you. They’re finding that more and more they need the directions that come with their new device to figure out how to work it. Thus people all over the world are united under the flag of electronic devices for we all are working towards the same goal of understanding them and that’s just a sad, digital fact of life.




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