From the time that our smartphones, tablets, and alarm clocks wake us in the morning, most of our daily lives are controlled by technology of some type. For the most part, we have embraced technology and have become dependent on computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices to complete our daily activities. These activities, whether completed at home or work, consume most of our day and we have come to accept this as being normal. But not all of the technologies that surround us are friendly, and some are just plain annoying. Here are a few that I find irritating and worth mentioning.
Automated Phone Systems
Automated answering phone systems were designed to get you to the right person, but also to save the company that employs such a system money. When the automated answering phone systems were first implemented, the choices were limited to one main menu. By pressing an assigned number, you were directly connected to the right department or person for assistance.
Over time, the automated phone system has been enhanced with further refinements that have added sub-menus to the structure and then more sub-menus — supposedly as a series of improvements. If you accidentally press an incorrect number, you might be directed to another number that will take you back to the original menu, where the insanity begins again.
Not being satisfied in tormenting us with an endless list of menus and submenus, the next form of torture added was voice recognition. Normally, a woman’s voice would ask us to spell our name, or provide a membership number, or date of birth, and this usually ended up being slaughtered by the unknown voice. No matter how much we tried to pronounce the spelling or number, or how slowly we spoke, the voice kept getting it wrong. If you’ve encountered any of these systems recently, you’ve probably noticed that they haven’t gotten much better.
Another technology that annoys me and that has become my enemy is auto correction. In fact, I have sent and received some unintelligible messages because the application overrode what was initially typed and made a correction that was not approved. I must admit that I enjoy the way the program does suggest words for me, and I find this helpful. But please, don’t change what I type without my permission. It is just plain annoying.
Touchscreens are perfect for most of us, but for some, a smartphone or tablet is beyond their physical abilities. For folks who suffer from arthritis or other physical abnormalities, owning a touchscreen will not work for many of them. Even for those of us who have no such physical limitation, we recognize how sensitive touchscreens can be. I have one friend who suffers from Parkinson’s disease and even using a stylus is problematic for him. We need some type of a concentrated effort to make touchscreens more user friendly for those who are handicapped.
My last irritant is a rather simple one, and that is making changes to settings and forgetting what I did. It would be highly appreciated if all programs had a reset button to undo any changes — one setting at a time. A return to default factory settings would still be a nice option, but the ability to “undo” a setting or two that was changed in the past would be even better.
So there you have it. My list of pet peeves and annoyances. What about you? What technology is most irritating for you to use?
Comments are welcome.
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by MattHurst