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john65pennington's avatar

Does anyone actually read the directions...........first?

Asked by john65pennington (29202points) April 10th, 2010

I must admit that i have joined that group of people that play first and read the directions, later. i am talking about my new cellphone. to some people, a new cellphone is like a new toy. you think you know everything, but soon discover you know nothing. after several negative attempts to establish new settings in my new cellphone, my wife then brought me the book and said, “here, professor, look it up”. most men hate to admit defeat, but here i am with a dumbfounded look on my face, flipping through the book, looking for “new settings”. am i alone in this venture or is the norm for men who sometimes think they “know it all”?

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21 Answers

tranquilsea's avatar

I always read the instructions first. Hence, I have become the person who puts things together or sets them up for almost everyone in my life lol. I bought a new bike a couple of weeks ago and as we drove home I read the instructions that came with the bike. My kids teased me ruthlessly about it.

DarkScribe's avatar

Only when unfamiliar with a device or technology. I always eventually read them though – in case there is something not obvious that might be useful to know.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

With electronics, a certain amount of good product design should be intuitive to the user because not all users are literate. The 80/20 rule applies to most electronics. You’re going to get 80% of your use out of 20% of the features. I usually work my way through the instructions on a “need to know” basis.

With assembling things, I always lay out the pieces according to the schematic, and follow the directions. It generally takes less time to assemble things that way.

j0ey's avatar

Everyman I know believes the included instruction manual in a box with any electronic good, simply insults their superior intelligence…..There is no place for such weakness/neediness in a real man’s world.

That is until…....... “Why wont pushing every available button and changing every possible setting stop that flashing red light, and loud continuous beep?”

Then you hear….... “Hey Wifey!? Where’s the instruction manual for the digital camera?”

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Sometimes. A lot of instruction manuals are trash. When I got my new phone in January, I pretty much learned how it worked just by playing with it. I’m like @DarkScribe. I eventually go back & read the manual at some point.

The_Idler's avatar

I like to work it all out for myself, but if I really can’t, I have no shame in getting a woman to do it instead.

Trillian's avatar

I always read the directions first. I could tell you the story of my ex husband and the ceiling fan, but then I’d have to breathe into a paper bag again. Regardless, I learned from just observing him over a three day period between leaving the house and coming back. “They’re right there in the box idiot! No? Ok, I’ll be at my girlfriends house. Later.”

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Instructions?? I usually don’t bother with that bull$h!t. lol!

chyna's avatar

I always read directions first. I’m inclined to think this is a gender thing though. Most of the men I know won’t read the directions until absolutely necessary.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

No because you need an Astrophysics degree to understand what they say at times, so I try to work it out myself!

MissAnthrope's avatar

I usually read the instructions first. I hate having to do something more than once, like putting something together and finding out midway through that one piece is backward, and having to take it all apart and start over again.

I’m pretty much always the only person who reads the instructions and it drives me a little nuts because I end up having to swoop in, read the directions, and fix it. My mom refuses, my exes weren’t interested.. I’m kind of like, how do you expect to do it right if you have no idea what you’re doing?

Seek's avatar

With technology, I jump in both feet first and read the directions only when I can’t figure something out.

When I’m sewing/building/assembling furniture, I read the insturctions first – every time. That’s why I put together the furniture, and my husband does not.

susanc's avatar

My family motto: “When all else fails, read the instructions.” Anything else is wimping out.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

If the installation instructions are in English (not Chinglish or Jinglish or WTFinglish) then I’ll look them over to see if there are specific cautions or notes that I wasn’t aware of in the first place. So for @Trillian‘s example of a ceiling fan, I don’t need to ‘read’ “turn off the power”—I get that already. I don’t need to read about how to find a ceiling joist or make cuts in ceiling material, etc. etc. But I read to find what kind of clearances I might need, and (just to be certain) which wire attaches to which, and that sort of thing. If there are safety features or other things that I need to know in advance, then I want to find them.

As for operations manuals: same thing, more or less. If there are cautions to beware of that I didn’t already know, then I’ll want to find them. I know not to operate my new electric drill underwater, for example, and not to put my cellphone into a pot of spaghetti sauce—I don’t need to read it (but I can show you where it is in the manual: it’s a picture of a pot of spaghetti sauce bubbling away, with someone tossing a phone into it… and a circle drawn around that illustration with a diagonal line through it—spare me from that shit except for entertainment). But some electronics, as others have already mentioned, have special settings and key combinations that do unusual things.

If I were operating a computer for the first time, then I’d sure want to know about the Ctrl-Alt-Delete keystroke combination, for example.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

It makes things so much easier when reading the directions first.

As a general rule, you can go farther in life just by the practice of reading directions. It gives you so much more of an advantage over people who don’t.

I have to write directions for my job frequently and I find it astounding how many people just won’t read them.

Jeruba's avatar

No. I want my husband to read them and then just answer the specific questions I ask.

He usually doesn’t go along with this and just says “RTFM,” but sometimes I get away with it.

(For himself, he always reads the documentation that comes with things.)

faye's avatar

Totally depends if it’s an Ikea item or not.

Facade's avatar

What would be the point of doing something wrong and then going back to read the directions? Do it right the first time.

thriftymaid's avatar

I’m the same way, John. I have found instructions confusing so many times. So now, if it appears obvious, I don’t read, I just do it.

filmfann's avatar

Directions first.

I used to drive my friends nuts. I would buy a new video game, and read the directions before playing. They would make fun of me while they were trying to figure out what they were doing and why. I would then step in, and kick their asses at the game until I told them what I read.

mattbrowne's avatar

Only with medication. I use technology first and look at the directions if there’s a need.

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