Why I Don’t “Tinker” Much Anymore

I love technology.  For as long as I can remember I was enamored with how technology worked.  I would spend hours tinkering with computers; taking them apart, desperately trying to put them back together before my dad got home (the first one was his), and learning from what went wrong (and what went right).  It was this tinkering that allowed me to get jobs as a high school student making money doing something I loved.  It also contributed to my continuing to learn about technology as I went through my time in college.  Over the past several years I’ve begun to change how I interact with technology.  I find myself less interested in how technology works and more on how technology works in the world around me.  In other words, I’ve moved from focusing primarily on the abstract to primarily on the practical.

A shift has occurred inside of me.  While I’m interested in how stuff works, I now find myself immediately asking, “How can this thing be used to better some other thing?”  If it can’t, then I log it away in the annals of what I’ve learned but I quickly move on to further discovery.  My good friend Jared might say it has to do with my personality type (if it doesn’t fit into the big picture, I’m not that interested).  This could also be evidenced in the platform shift I’ve undergone.  I’m a PC tech by trade and was an “Apple-hater” but I’m now an avid Mac and iOS user.

Apple’s ecosystem is very closed compared to most others.  This doesn’t make it inferior, it makes it different (for you commenters, to say otherwise is rather asinine).  Apple doesn’t want you tinkering with their stuff, they just want their stuff to work.  Back when I was a tinkerer, that made me really, really ticked.  I despised Apple and everything they “stood for.”  I wanted to explore how things worked, I wanted to modify those things, make them “more my own.”  This is one of many reasons I hated Apple.  Let’s fast forward to now.  Apple doesn’t want you tinkering with their stuff, and that suits me just fine.  I don’t need to tinker with their stuff as long as it does what I need it to.  For the most part it does, and in an intuitive way that has me applying the technology more than tinkering with it.

There’s nothing wrong with tinkering!  We need tinkerers in the world or discovery in certain areas would come to a crawl or stop altogether.  However, I don’t want to focus on that aspect any more.  I want to take the technology that is out there, use it practically in culture and society, and hopefully help to improve on it based on my feedback.  That’s where I’m at and I have to be honest it’s a pretty cool place to be.

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One thought on “Why I Don’t “Tinker” Much Anymore

  1. Mike. Great post. I have undergone this exact same transformation now too.
    I feel like things should just work, and tinkering should not be necessary.
    Apple products may be closed, but they work. Plain and simple.

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