Can’t figure out how to make your latest gadget work? Well … you tried reading the manual, right? Right?I admit it … I’m one of those guys who’d rather charge right in and start futzing with a new cell phone, laptop, game console, or other cool gadget than sit down and flip through the user manual. And yes … I’ve made angry calls to tech support, only to sheepishly admit that no, I didn’t bother to take five minutes to read the instructions.
Turns out (surprise, surprise) that I’m not alone. As the BBC News (via Gizmodo) reports, a new survey of callers to a gadget help line found that a full 64 percent of men hadn’t read the user manual to their new toy before calling for assistance.
As for the women, well … they’re a bit more conscientious, apparently, with only 24 percent of female callers in the Gadget Helpline survey having failed to read the manual before picking up the phone.
The survey, conducted in September and October and comprised of data from more than 75,000 calls, also found that men were more likely to miss some rather obvious factors when it comes to gadgets that aren’t working.
Example: A good 12 percent of men in the survey answered “uhhh, no” to that most basic of tech-support questions: “Is the [fill in the blank] plugged in?” Oops. (Compare that to just 7 percent for the women.)
So, just why are us dudes so averse to reading the manual, anyway?
Good question, and one that the survey doesn’t really answer. The BBC quotes a psychologist and Web editor who neatly sidesteps the issue, noting that the meaning of the results “comes down to interpretation.”
I can only speak for myself when I say … why would I ever need to read the instructions? I’m a tech blogger, after all; I test new gadgets every day. And I have a knack for these things; I innately know my way around tech. So whenever I get a new toy that, say, I can’t turn on, well … it must be the manufacturer’s fault for designing such a confusing device. It couldn’t be me—or my failure to read the manual—that’s the problem, right?*
So, ladies and gentlemen: Do you always read the manual before playing with your new gadgets, and especially before calling tech support?
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