The culture shock of a new computer
6 months ago we bought a new family computer - an Apple MacBook with the Mac operating system. Looking back, the change from the well known language of a PC to the unknown language of Mac can easily be compared to the 4 phases of culture shock.
The first phase was the honeymoon phase, characterised by delight at having taken the step to something new and exciting. After a while in this phase, I became frustrated and irritated when I tried to find a file or edit an image and nothing worked as it should. I was irritated by my clicks being repeatedly ignored by the computer. This was phase 2 in which delight at the newness turns into frustration and incomprehension over the strangeness - often the most absorbing phase of culture shock. I signed up for a Mac course, but it was oversubscribed. Luckily by now I was on my way out of phase 2 and into phase 3 – the healing process. From here I moved quickly into the final phase of acceptance and adaptation. I had begun to learn the new language and way of thinking and could use my Mac more easily. I am still unsure about various aspects of the new computer and enjoy returning ’home’ to my work PC.
Interestingly, an acquaintance recently told me the opposite story that after many years as a Mac user she had switched to a PC. She had just returned to a Mac and described it ’like coming home’.
Happy New Year!
“Many companies find it difficult to integrate foreign employees, especially if they arrive with spouses and children”
Morten Revsbeck, HR manager at Terma, taken from www.ing.dk, 16/01/09: Network is needed for foreign workers to settle down