Whos in Charge, You or Your Computer?

By: 10x Marketing

If you are like most people, you view your computer as a fair-weather friend who usually treats you well, but may randomly choose to give you the cold shoulder. "Kaput!" Is the other word that comes to mind. Computers will crash, usually when we need them the most, and this adds to the prevalent feeling that yes, your computer is smarter than you are.
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How can you feel greater control over the little box that is becoming such a large part of your life? Hours will be spent with this box, or fair-weather friend, however you choose to call it. Most likely, you work, play, and communicate on the computer. So here are some fun and practical ideas on how to regain control of this thing that is taking over everyone's world.
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Stop calling it by name. Notice how I call it "it." Some people have a pet name for their computer, but attributing human characteristics to any object is creepy, and just invites it to take on a life of its own. Drop the cute names, and keep it in the "object" category, not in the "primary relationship" slot.
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Get smarter. You've got to get at least as smart as your computer, and if you can swing it, smarter. Taking a computer programming course would be a sure way to conquor it, but if the thought of code makes you cry tears of boredom, there are other options.

You could read a single article about some aspect of computer technology, in the news or on Wikipedia. I'm sure even Playboy has articles on computers, if you must stoop to that level. Feed your brain with computer knowledge, any way you can stomach it. You'll feel more powerful with just a little more understanding of how the thing works.
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Take Control of the Hardware. When your computer arrives in its box, it includes all the basic hardware you would need. Most people just set it up and let it run, supplementing their hardware with only the most basic objects, like mini speakers, printers and scanners. The computer itself can seem like a physical body that you should respect, and not mess with. It can be an intimidating ensemble of chords and wires, all looking so perfectly matched and smoothly coordinated. Therefore, it is a supreme pleasure to screw it all up by trading some of the computer's hardware for your own hardware. That's right, show your computer who's boss by installing a different mouse or keyboard. Upgrade to a mouse with capacitive sensor technology, or get an advanced touchscreen with character recognition capabilities. These products are less expensive than you think, and the companies selling them are happy to walk you through the process of installing and dominating your computer more fully.
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Take Computer Diets. Does the addiction of email keep you checking back to "it" every few hours? It can be quite liberating to take a full day or a full weekend's vacation from your computer.
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Keep it Clean. Have you been avoiding the removal of that dust between the keys? If you have a passive aggressive complex about your computer as I do, you don't want to give him the satisfaction of becoming his cleaning lady, on top of everything else. But keeping your computer tidy is a reminder that this is just an instrument who's wellbeing you ultimately control.
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Get a Website. Jump on the bandwagon, start a website. You will learn a lot about how the Web works, and the Web is one of the central purposes for computers. By owning your very own website, you will gain a new feeling of power.
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Chuck it. When it is time to replace your computer, just do it. Recycle it kindly, but as you do it, don't feel any guilt about letting go. After all, your computer isn't a friend you must stay loyal to, it's just an "it."

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