Freddy Cloud

Frederick (“Freddy”) Cloud has had a passion for all things electronic since he “accidently” caused the class Commodore PET to malfunction in 8th grade. “I swear. I didn’t do it on purpose” He was quoted as saying to a very unhappy computer teacher... Read his full bio

Helping Others with their Gadget Decisions



Stop me if you’ve heard this one before …

“I need/want a new (insert random piece of technology here). Which one should I get?”

For “normal” people (meaning people who aren’t like me and needs/wants whatever is new and shiny that year), trying to research what’s better than what they currently have (and why it’s better) can be a frustrating experience.  And as easy as it is to recommend whatever the newest Android or iOS device that’s out, sometimes it isn’t the best recommendation to make.

If you are approached with the “What should I get” question, I ask that before you respond with whatever is considered the new hotness that you answer a question WITH some questions, like:

How much do they want to spend – That’s for the device AND any service changes that they may incur because you’ve talked them into getting an iPhone 5.

What are they using now – They have a flip phone? OK, maybe that’s all they want. There are still people out there who use their phones as, well, phones.

What are they doing with it now – Like I said, there’s this strange contingent of humans who insist on using their cellphones as they were originally intended to be used. Odd, I know.

What do they want to do – Ok … here’s where it can get tricky. It’s not what YOU want them to do or think they should do, it’s what THEY want to do. If they could care less about texting, tweeting, Facebooking (that’s a word today), or pinning … why would you recommend the latest and greatest iPhone or Android device? Not everyone is interested in playing Angry Birds or posting pictures on Instagram. There are feature phones they can send and receive text messages on if they’re interested in that capability. Don’t sell them on features that they WILL NOT utilize.

You know the beauty of this list? It works both ways. That’s right … not only will it help you help someone else, but you can use it to help yourself!  Just replace the “They” with “You”, and there you go. No need to thank me.

There’s a big dose of being realistic that goes with researching a new device. Marketing is the enemy. For example, the Galaxy S4 has more bells and whistles than a BMW, and there are people in the commercials doing some really cool things with it. The question is will the person coming to you for your advise use half of what’s on there? And if the answer is “no”, then why spend the money? There’s also peer pressure, there’s device envy … all kinds of factors that can sway their decision. The list was geared towards cellphones, but could easily apply to any piece or technology someone is in a tizzy over deciding to purchase. If they come to you to ask you what you think, try and take a more analytical approach, and figure out what they (or you) NEED first and what they WANT second. It’ll save you both a lot of grief down the road …

Talk to you soon!

Freddy C.

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