Now that the holidays are over, I think I am suffering from device fatigue.
As much as I've enjoyed exploring different platforms and have loved seeing the creative ideas that are developing in the mobile application world, my brain is a bit worn out from electronic overload — I think I've solved one digital problem too many lately, even though I'm not a tech person by training. I've set up devices that our family opened during the holidays, installed a wireless printer, switched between app stores (Android's Google Play, iTunes, Windows, Nook) for different tablets and computers and spent more than two hours either on hold for or talking to customer service to get a computer issue resolved.
I'm sure I'm not alone in this: Families' tech needs grow as their children do and every device in our homes nowadays consistently requires frequent updates to keep up with changing technology. As more devices connect to the Internet, it takes a lot of persistence to figure out how to install updates on TVs, cable boxes, e-readers, computers, apps, tablets, wireless routers, thermostats, etc., and to remember to do so.
For the past several years, I've been a Mac/Apple person who uses a PC for work. I've loved the way Apple products like a Mac, iPad, iPhone, etc., work easily together, requiring not much effort beyond intuition.
This Christmas, we added the latest generation of iPod and a basic laptop that runs Windows 8 to our family mix of devices. The latest Windows version is organized beautifully and I think it will work well for us once we figure it out; it varies significantly from previous Windows operating systems. I've also had a good experience playing with a loaned Samsung Chromebook (for Google), a laptop for all skill levels that offers storage “in the cloud” instead of on the device. But whether you're on Windows, iOS or Android devices, each of these systems is exclusive — they don't share apps or software.
To prevent eye strain, doctors recommend using eye drops and looking up and 20 feet away from your screen at least every 20 minutes for 20 seconds or more. The setup/update fatigue I'm experiencing may take longer to subside. In my own family, I limit screen time the best I can because there is real life to enjoy beyond technology.
I still have a couple more tech things to fix at home. But soon, I hope my children can start taking over the digital problem solving for their own devices. It will be nice to spread the fatigue around a bit.