I have for a long time had a rule which is that if you want tech support and don't want to pay me for it, you have to at least _try_ the things I suggest

"Do you think you can make my Google Docs read this Word document correctly?"
"Do you need to share it with anyone in real time?"
"Do you need to integrate it with other Google stuff?"
"Okay, let's try LibreOffice."


"I really hate x, y, and z about my iPhone. Can you help me pick an iPhone that won't have these issues?"
"No, but the Pixel 4a is pretty good."

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If your needs constrain you to use an iPhone or Google Docs I'm obviously not going to be out here telling you to use something that doesn't fit your needs, but so often people just refuse to try anything new.


Doing Free Tech Support got a lot easier once I realized I don't actually have to convince people that the thing I'm suggesting is a good solution.

I can just say, "Well, that's my advice. Good luck," and walk away.

@suetanvil @tindall Strangely, that works a lot better than simply saying you don't know. Of course I don't know how to find an iPhone which is like this or that or how do that thing in Excel, as I don't use either product. People simply don't believe me. It's weird.

@tindall Yesterday reading the bus timetables, I’ve had the epiphany that people may have the "web reflex" because they don’t want to learn new, more efficient ways of doing things… like reading the bus timetable instead of unlocking their phone, starting the app, entering their bus stop and their destination, etc.

@tindall now if only there were still more than two options :(

@embr Indeed! I didn't mention that I suggest Linux to people because folks on Twitter would be annoyed, and I don't yet for phones, but we're getting there!

@tindall @embr Why would people be annoyed? 😲 I recently completely reinstalled a machine for a family friend (he was fed up with Windows being slow and constantly updating and rolling back the updates), so he got a KDE put up and pimped out a little.

He was surprised the browser is a bit different, but that recent Firefox update arrived for Windows people too...

@szalayricha @embr That's actually a lovely story! Sadly not everyone on Twitter is as understanding as folks on here.

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