It’s become abundantly clear from how we handled the pandemic that humans, as a general rule, aren’t very good at planning for, and dealing with, unexpected scenarios, especially if it is something that they don’t believe can happen to them. Life insurance agents will tell you this, and as a guy who’s spent the past 30+ years working in technology, I can also say that regardless of how long you’ve been using a computer for whatever reason, most of you aren’t planning for when it breaks. Some of my clients do actually plan for failure, and even they are caught off guard sometimes. If there’s one thing that you can count on with technology, failures won’t go as planned.
Not the kind of exit you might be thinking
We don’t want fires to happen in buildings, but when they do, it’s of paramount importance that we know how to get to safety. While I can easily list plenty of failure scenarios for your technology, I can’t tell you when they are going to happen. But there are plenty of things I can help you plan for because our use of technology is fairly predictable, and if we prepare accordingly, we can react effectively when failure rears its ugly head. Here are some examples and some ways to approach common internet problems:
“Our internet just went down.”
This happens all the time, and is always at the worst possible time. You should always know (a) who to call when it goes down, and (b) know where to go to get internet when (a) tells you that the outage is being worked on but there is no ETA at the moment. Do you know how to fire up a hotspot on your mobile phone? Do you know where the nearest free WIFI source may be? Do you know how to reboot your router? Is it just WIFI that is down, or your internet connection, or everyone’s internet connection?
“My computer just stopped working.”
Windows is going through a rough time at the moment – their QA is absolutely crap lately, but not applying updates is almost as bad as applying them, so have an idea of how you can get your important work done without your primary computer. What can be done via another device, platform or even someone else? Do you know how to access your email via the web or on your phone? Could you pull that important file off a cloud backup and work on it on another computer, or even your phone?
“Know where your data resides.”
In the end, for those of us who need technology to perform our work, it is as fundamentally important as know where your data is as it is know how to safely get out of a building in an emergency. If the thing you need to do isn’t accessed via the internet, then the internet being down isn’t (necessarily) a problem. If the thing you need to do can be done on another computer, then your computer being down is just an inconvenience that can be worked around. As long as you know where your data resides and you understand how to access it, the technology you use to get there is just a means to an end. Just as most of us aren’t meant to fight fires in buildings – we just need to know how to get out quick, fixing broken technology should not be your focus – instead plan and learn how to work around those eventualities.
Image by Alex Fox from Pixabay