Technology is intended to make our lives easier, but sometimes it seems to do exactly the opposite. Whether it’s your work computer refusing to turn on before a big presentation or your internet going out before a Netflix binge with your friends, tech problems can take your plans and throw them right out the window.
Here are some tips for dealing with tech frustrations without losing your cool.
Set Yourself Up for Success
The easiest way to deal with frustrating problems is to avoid them in the first place. Start with your equipment—make sure you have the right tools for the job:
● If you do a lot of photo editing or design on your computer, make sure you purchase a computer that has the processing power and storage to handle it. This setup can help you avoid too much shuffling of files from external drives.
● Similarly, if you manage a lot of tasks on your smartphone, don’t just go for the cheapest model. Although things have improved recently, the base models of Android phones and iPhones often don’t offer enough storage for shutterbugs (without constantly transferring and deleting photos) or users who need to access and download files from cloud services. Consider bumping up to a higher storage option.
● If you intend to do a lot of streaming, choose an internet plan that offers the bandwidth you need. This advice goes double if you’re cutting the cord completely, as you won’t have cable to fall back on. You can check your current speed using an online speed test tool and compare that to your current streaming plan.
These are just a few examples—the point is to think long-term and invest a little more up front in the right tools to avoid an issue down the road.
Start with the Basics
Tech issues tend to crop up at the least convenient times. If you have a video call with an important client in an hour, it’s easy to panic when you can’t get your webcam to work. Take a deep breath! The solution is often much simpler than you might think.
For starters, the old tech standby of “Have you tried turning it on and off again?” actually has some merit. Computers and smartphones are complex devices, and sometimes processes get mixed up. Rebooting works because it essentially starts the computing processes over fresh. If you want a more technical perspective, check out this article from How-to Geek. All you really need to know is that a simple reboot can often fix most freezes and slowdowns without any further work involved.
Have a Backup Plan
The worst-case scenario for many is a hardware failure with no backups. If your hard drive in your laptop dies, or your phone gets broken or stolen, having a backup of your data can get you up and running again in no time. Not having a backup, on the other hand, can mean losing years of irreplaceable data—you’ve probably heard stories about people losing their entire PhD thesis and not having backups. Yeah, don’t let that be you.
There are tons of viable backup solutions available:
● Cloud storage services like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive offer excellent solutions for storing documents that can be accessed anywhere you have an internet connection. Most also come with enough free storage for your most important files. Pick your favorite and use it. You can also set up cloud apps to auto sync your files anytime you make changes across your devices.
● Macs offer the easy-to-use Time Machine backup software. All you have to do is plug an external hard drive in and your Mac will take care of the rest. No excuse not to use this one! iPhones will automatically back up to your iCloud account every night as long as you’re plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi, so make sure you charge up your phone every night.
● Physical storage devices can save you when the internet fails. Creating a physical backup of your most important files not only gives you extra protection but also allows you to access them when your power goes out or the Wi-Fi fails.
Whichever solutions you end up choosing, make sure you keep them up-to-date. Having a good backup solution can really take a load off your digital shoulders.
Whether it’s a mission-critical issue at work or an unexpected phone problem on vacation, tech issues are disruptive. Following these basics should help you avoid any major meltdowns and get you back up and running if a major issue does happen.