It's really tough to leave an abusive relationship.
No, I'm not talking about relationships between humans, I'm talking about the relationship between humans and the technology that is done to them by other humans (that are in a position to know better and to do much better). I'll call this "pre-meditated abuse by proxy." (You could also call this predation.)
A co-conspirator (that's a term I reserve for friends) of mine recently wrote an article about the difficulties he had convincing a business contact to consider Ubuntu as a sensible alternative to the extremely uncomfortable (and expensive) computing systems that were in use, and by their own admission, barely functional.
When offered a free (Ubuntu) alternative, as well as free installation and support, the contact said "No thanks", repeatedly.
Baffling? Not really. When one frames this situation properly it all begins to make sense. She's not ready. I would normally just dismiss this as a textbook case of "Tip#4 for Ubuntu Advocates"1 but my co-conspirator made a more profound observation, and I think he's onto something.
People stay in abusive relationships2 (with their technology) for a number of reasons:
- Believing Abuse is Normal
- Low Self-esteem
Here are some choice quotes from his article:
"Every time her proprietary operating system beats her and her colleagues down, they just accept it like it’s okay."
"I then had the creepy revelation that it’s like the physically abusive boyfriend who beats the girl and after each beating apologises."
I highly recommend that you read his words, as he's really a great story-teller. While you're at it, leave a comment.
Perhaps it's time to shine the spotlight on what (some) technology is doing to people, and to end this "pre-meditated abuse by proxy."
1. "Tip #4 for Ubuntu Evangelists" http://randall.executiv.es/tip4
2. "Why Do People Stay in Abusive Relationships?"
a. Thanks "wayneoutthere" for inspiring this article and for the permission to paraphrase it.
b. Thanks "hang_in_there" for the image.CC BY 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/59632563@N04/6238711264/sizes/z/in/photostream/