Oct 01

Is the “Expert” always right?

I was helping a friend the other day.  And as I worked with him on his email problem I asked myself “How can anyone still be on AOL any more?”  AOL went from the top of the heap to a nearly non-existent entity over the last 10 years or so.

So, why oh why would anyone still use AOL.  Almost any expert will suggest that they move to Gmail or any one of a number of “better”, “more flexible”, easier to use services and not be locked into a piece of software that tells you what you can and cannot do or how you should do it.  The answer is simple – they like it, they’re used to it and it works for them.

So, as I sat there and wondered if I should recommend that he switches services, I realized that it really wasn’t my place to even think about suggesting that.  My goal was to help him understand a part of AOL’s email program that he wasn’t familiar with. My job was to answer his question.  My job wasn’t to change the way he did everything.

Just because I, as a heavy computer/gadget user, find something better, it doesn’t mean that everyone needs to be doing what I’m doing.  As we get older we get more set in our ways.  If something works for someone, who am I to try to change it.  Unless there’s something dangerous with what you’re doing, why fix it if it isn’t broken.

That said, there are some changes that are good to recommend.  My father in law really had trouble with his computer.  But when we got him an iPad his use of the internet, email and a host of other things just blossomed.  He found a better mousetrap for himself.  In fact, it’s because of him, and the friend that I was helping that prompted this post that I started this blog.

So, when someone tells you “You gotta get this instead of that” just shake your head and go on your merry way doing what works for you.  When it stops working for you, then it’s time to think about what the “expert” tells you and then give it a shot.

Hope you like the new look and be sure to forward, follow, comment and share it!


  1. Bob

    Parallels works better!

  2. Marty Silbernik

    Software is an interesting thing. More often than not, there’s multiple options and both evolve over time. So, that makes better a “relative” thing. When I started using Windows Partitioning software on my Mac, there were three options, Boot Camp (which required a restart), Parallels and VMWare Fusion. Back then, I could download a time limited trial of Parallels and VMWare Fusion. After using both of them (and this was almost 3 years ago) VMWare was faster and easier to use than Parallels.

    So, I bought VMWare. Today, who knows… Parallels may have made some significant changes over the three years, and may very well run better than it did when I tried it. But, since I only use Windows on my Mac for one piece of software (c’mon Intuit — make a real Mac version of Quicken) I just keep using VMWare until it doesn’t work, or I don’t need it any longer.

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